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"Absit a nobis ut Deum faciamns SiyXta-nov, ant multiplices scnsus affingamus 
ipsius vcrbo, in quo potius, tamquara in spcculo limpidissimo sui autoris simplici- 
tati in contemplari dcbcmus, Ps. xii. 6 ; xix. 8. Unicus ergo sensus scripturiE, 
ncinpc grammaticus, cst admittendus, quibuscunque dcmura tcrminis, vel propriis 
vcl tropicis et tiguratis cxprimatur." MARESIUS. 



IN preparing the following work for the press the author has been 
greatly encouraged by the kind reception given to his previous labors 
on the Prophets by theological readers both in this country and Amer 
ica. It has been a satisfaction to him to find that the principles on 
which he has conducted his exegetical inquiries have been generally 
approved of by those most competent to judge. To these principles 
he still adheres; convinced that whatever there abounds of symbol, 
vision, enigma, and parable in the compositions of Ezekiel, there runs 
through them a vein of historical reality which serves as a safeguard 
against the vagaries of the mystical school of interpretation. 

While the Biblical student is ever to be careful not to allow the 
divine meaning of Scripture to evaporate into thin air, he is equally to 
be solicitous not to load the inspired text with the cumbrous lucubra 
tions of his own imagination. In fixing upon the sense to be brought 
out, he is not at liberty to force into the sacred word any preconceived 
notions of human invention ; but, carefully weighing all the circum 
stances of the context, to give that interpretation which best harmo 
nizes with them, and brings them into view. All far-fetched and 
arbitrary constructions he is utterly to repudiate. The literal and the 
figurative are to be allowed their respective claims, but never to be 
confounded, mixed up together, or substituted the one for the other. 
It behoves the interpreter, with his mind open to receive the truth of 
God, to maintain the attitude of young Samuel, and earnestly to give 
utterance to the beautiful prayer : " Speak Lord ; for thy servant 

In prosecuting his expository task the author has endeavored to 
avoid indulging in the discursive confining himself to the matter in 
hand ; making the text his leader ; and condensing, within as small 


a compass as was compatible with due regard to perspicuity, what he 
had to offer in elucidation of the subjects treated of by the sacred 

Warned by the palpable failure of others who have staked their lit 
erary reputation on calculations relative to events still supposed to be 
future in the history of the church, he has not presumed to lift the veil 
which it hath pleased the Spirit of inspiration should be left to remain 
on certain portions of prophetic scripture. His province has not been 
to prophesy, but humbly and carefully to investigate the meaning of 
the prophecies dictated by the Holy Ghost, and recorded in the Divine 

The charge of obscurity brought against Ezekiel is nothing new. 
Nor can it be denied that there are portions of his book which, at first 
sight, seem hard to be understood. It may fairly be questioned, how 
ever, whether the alleged want of perspicuity be not mainly attributa 
ble to the mists of false interpretation in which he has been involved, 
rather than to any impenetrable veil thrown over the prophecies by 
his own hand. To understand his pictures they must be surveyed as 
wholes, without the mind being distracted by dwelling upon the minor 
and accessory features of which they are made up. Minute attention 
to these (especially in studying the description of the temple), apart 
from a grand view of the whole, is one of the principal causes of the 
difficulty accompanying its interpretation. 

While constrained to abide by the idea of a literal temple, the author 
sees no violation of the laws of sound exegesis in maintaining at the same 
time the symbolical import of the structure and its ordinances, just 
as we understand the typical character of the former temple erected 
by Solomon. Both adumbrated or shadowed forth the substantial 
blessings of the gospel dispensation ; serving as o-rot^cta, elements, or 
rudimental means of instruction, adapted to the then infantile state of 
the church, and leading the mind forward in anticipation of better 
things to come. See the Apostle s definition, Col. ii. 17 ; Ileb. x. 1. 


EZEKIEL first introduces himself to our notice on the banks of the 
Chebar, a river of upper Mesopotamia, whither he had been trans 
ported, along with the more distinguished of his countrymen, when 
Jehoiachin, having surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar (D. c. 599), was 
carried into exile in Babylon. He was in part contemporary with 
Jeremiah and Daniel, between the latter of whom and Ezekiel there 
are more points of resemblance than one, especially in the character of 
his visions and the grotesque cast of his images. Having, previously 
to his removal from Jerusalem, filled the sacerdotal office, he possessed 
an influence which must have been of great service to him in his 
intercourse with his fellow-captives, who were accustomed to assemble 
in his house at Tel-abib to consult him in reference to their future 

Whether he had been married before he arrived in Chaldea does 
not appear ; but while there he had the affliction to be suddenly de 
prived of the object of his conjugal affection, a circumstance in refer 
ence to which he was constituted a type of the calamity which was to 
befall the inhabitants of Jerusalem, xxiv. 15-25. 

His field of labor embraced not merely his countrymen from Judea, 
but also, in all probability, the descendants of the ten tribes, who 
had partly been located in the same region when removed from their 
native land by Shalmanezer, king of Assyria, 2 Kings xviii. 9-12. In 
the remote province of Mesopotamia our prophet enjoyed a freedom of 
action, and consequently opportunities of usefulness, which might not 
have fallen to his lot if he had accompanied his captive sovereign to 
the metropolis of the empire. He was not only unmolested by the 
Chaldeans, but undisturbed by the plots and caballings to which his 
contemporary Jeremiah was exposed from the profligate courtiers of 


Nor, in discharging the duties of his office, is there reason to believe 
that his labors were confined to his fellow exiles. Many of his dis 
courses were addressed to the Jews who still remained in Jerusalem, 
with whom he might have held communication by letter or verbal 
messages. These, like most of those with whom he was brought into 
contact, were obstinately resolute in their determination to persist in 
their rebellious courses. Though suffering the punishment of their 
sins in a foreign country, the latter had too much idolatrous sympathy 
with their countrymen in Judea to lend a willing ear to the solemn 
calls to repentance and reformation tendered to them by the prophet. 
Still Ezekiel, strengthened with power from on high, pursued his 
course, uuintimidated by their stubborn opposition, displaying through 
out the utmost intrepidity and fidelity of character. We find him in 
cessantly at work, exposing vice, urging to the observance of the 
divine commandments, and consoling the pious with the hopes of bet 
ter times. While there is much in his book to arouse and alarm, and 
much that is calculated even to terrify, there are at the same time 
such aboundiugs of tender compassion, as cannot but administer con 
solation to the sorrowing spirit. Ezekiel was not only the denouncer 
of judgment : he was at the same time the publisher of glad tidings. 
While in the first part of his book his thoughts revolve round the 
calamitous circumstances of his ruined country, in the latter half he 
delights in holding out assurances that the Most High would receive 
back into favor and abundantly bless repentant Israel. Interspersed are 
gracious promises of the Messiah and the blessings of the dispensation 
which he should introduce. The Hebrews were not left to imagine 
that their return from Chaldea and the restoration of their civil and 
ecclesiastical polity were to exhaust the blessings which their covenant 
God had in store for them. Blessings of an infinitely higher order 
lie teaches them to anticipate, and repeatedly gives them to under 
stand that no failure on the part of the Divine Being should occasion 
the withdrawal of their enjoyment. He ever evinces a sacred regard 
to the best interests of those whom he addresses, which is admirably 
calculated to arrest the attention, and promote the edification of readers 
in every age. The ethical element pervades the whole ; and no one 
can peruse the book in a proper spirit without having his mind im 
pressed with a sense of the majesty, holiness, rectitude, and compassion 
of the Divine Being, who had selected the prophet to be his messenger 



to his guilty people. " Thus saith the Lord Jehovah " reverberates on 
every page ; and hard must that heart be wliich is not penetrated by 
the sound. 

It is worthy of notice that among the predictions which denounce 
judgments against the enemies of the covenant people we find none 
directed against Babylon. To what this is to be ascribed it is difficult 
to imagine, except it arose from a desire not to give unnecessary 
offence to the government under which the prophet lived. 

With respect to style, Ezekiel may be said to hold a middle place 
between the high poetic and the depressed prosaic. Without, on the 
one hand, rising to the more elevated heights of prophetical composition, 
he pursues, on the other, his easy flow of diction, occasionally break 
ing out in passages that are rough and rugged in their aspect, in accor 
dance with the nature of his theme. The language abounds more in 
the picturesque than any other biblical writing. The imagery is of 
the richest and boldest description. Allegory, symbol, and vision 

Without trenching upon the claims of our prophet as an inspired 
writer by attributing to his human powers what was supplied from a 
higher source, we may regard him as an instrument singularly qualified 
for executing the task devolved upon him. In this point of view he 
appears before us as possessing a rich and gorgeous imagination, to 
which he gives the freest course, working everything out in adapta 
tion to his subject, and laying everything under contribution that was 
calculated to impart dignity to his theme, and to produce a deep and 
salutary impression upon his hearers. Some parts of his book are 
truly magnificent in their sublimity, and others are aflfectingly awaken 
ing in their pointedness of appeal. He is most emphatic in his 
denunciations of the divine judgments. 

One of the peculiar characteristics of our prophet is a proneness 
to indulge in amplification which scorns to be arrested in its course, 
and branches out into image after image and repetition after repe 
tition, till nothing is left untouched that might be expected to impress 
the reader. In his objurgations he returns to the charge again and 
again, unwilling to let his guilty countrymen escape from the shafts 
of conviction. To the same cause is to be ascribed the minuteness 
with which every subject is treated. Not content with exhibiting 
his pictures in broad outlines, he embodies his ideas in microscopic 


forms, omitting no feature that may render them perfect in their pre 
sentation to view. 

Attempts have been made to reduce the composition of Ezekiel to 
strict symmetrical verse, such as marks the structure and turn of 
sentences in other prophetical writers ; but though there are parts of 
the book that may, after a fashion, be metrically disposed, such as the 
elegies on Tyre, chapters xxvii., xxviii., and those on Egypt, chapter 
xxix.-xxxi., yet as a whole the language is to be regarded as prose 
without rhythm or parallelism, only characterised by warmth of feeling 
such as became a writer deeply interested in the fates of his country 
men and the glory of his God. In presenting the text, therefore, to 
my readers, I have retained the ordinary cast of prose throughout. 

It would appear from chapter xxix. 17, that the ministry of Ezekiel 
was continued till the twenty-seventh year of the exile ; at least this 
is the latest date which we meet with in his book. According to 
tradition, he ended his days in Chaldea, having been put to death by 
one of the princes of his people, whom he had enraged by reproving 
him for having indulged in the worship of idols. 


THE most important of the Jewish commentaries on Ezekiel is that 
of David Kimchi, justly esteemed on account of its strictly grammatical 
character. It is found in Buxtorf s Biblia Rabbinica (Amstelodami, 
17241727, four volumes, folio). 

The best works of the Fathers on the prophet are those of Theo- 
doret and Jerome, who, for the most part, confine themselves to the 
literal interpretation of the text. 

What was designed to be a first-rate work on Ezekiel is that of two 
Spanish Jesuits, Pradus and Villapandus, which, however, especially 
that portion written by the latter, is rather to be regarded as an osten 
tatious display of architectural learning, than as calculated to satisify 
any reader seriously endeavoring to ascertain the true meaning of the 
word of God. It was published at Rome, 1596, in three huge folio 
volumes, with numerous plates designed to ilustrate the buildings of 
the temple. It is a book of extreme rarity, being scarcely ever found 
in any private library. 

The earliest work of the Reformers on the prophet is that written 
by Oecolampadius (Basilea:, 1548, folio). Considering the age in which 
it was published, it is justly entitled to respect. It is to be regretted 
that Calvin did not carry his Commentary on Ezekiel further than the 
twentieth chapter, since from the exegetical tact which he has displayed 
it is manifest none was better qualified to do justice to the author. 

The German Translation of the Old Testament by J. D. Michaelis, 
with Notes for the unlearned, Part x. (Gottingcn, 1781), and Arch 
bishop Newcome s Attempt towards an Improved Version of Ezekiel 
(London, 1785, 4to.), both furnish not unimportant contributions to 
the elucidation of the prophet ; but neither of them scrupled to take 
unjustifiable liberties with the Hebrew text. Their labors in He 
brew literature have been superseded by those of later critics. 


The Scholia in Yetus Tcstamentum, by the younger Rosenmiiller 
(Leipzig, 1808-1810, 8vo.), will ever retain their value as a reper- 
torium of materials for Biblical interpretation. 

The Commentarius Criticus of Maurer (Leipzig, 1838, 8vo.) will be 
found exceedingly serviceable as a hand-book for the use of the cxeget- 
ical student, if only he be on his guard lest he should occasionally be 
led astray by the rationalistic views of the author. The same caution 
is requsite in regard to studying the earlier editions of Rosemuller. 

Ileinrich Ewald, in the Notes to his Propheten Des Alten Bundes, 
introduces a series of criticisms such as might be expected from a 
Hebrew grammarian of acknowledged merit. Not unfrequently, how 
ever, they will be found to fail in yielding satisfaction with respect to 
the true meaning of the text. 

Commentar iiber den Propheten Ezekiel by Iliivernick (Erlangen, 
1843, 8vo). This work, together with that on Daniel, by the same 
author, formed quite an epoch in the theological literature of Germany. 
The author goes at great length into the exposition of the prophet, and 
is more fruitful and happy in philological investigation than any of his 
predecessors. lie is characterized throughout by a spirit of earnest 
and warm-hearted piety. 

Der Prophet Ezekiel, by Dr. Ferdinand Hitzig (Leipzig, 1847). This 
work, which is appropriately characterized by Fairbairn as elastic, 
though containing acute and ingenious remarks, carries Biblical criti 
cism to such excess that it may be regarded as a specimen of literary 
trifling, rather than a sober exposition of the oracles of divine truth. 

Umbreit s Praktischer Commentar iiber den Ezekiel (Hamburg, 
1843) is chiefly valuable on account of his close and accurate trans 
lation of the Hebrew text. The Notes, however, which are rather 
sparse, contain choice elucidations of particular passages. 

The latest English work on the prophet is from the pen of the Rev. 
Patrick Fairbairn (Edinburgh, 1851), who, in expounding the conclud 
ing chapters, follows pretty much in the track of Havernick, for the 
most part merging the literal Israel and their institutes in what he 
regards as the higher Messianic element of the Christian church. 



The prophet commences his book by detailing the circumstances connected with his call 
to the prophetic office. After specifying the time and place in which he received his 
commission, 1-3, he proceeds to describe the wonderful phenomena which were pre 
sented to his imagination in inspired vision, and which were designed to furnish him 
with an impressive symbolical representation of the formidable agencies by means of 
which Jehovah executes his purposes as the Ruler among the nations, 4-25; concluding 
with a description of the vision which he had of the divine glory, and the solemn effect 
which it produced upon his mind, 20-28. 

1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on 
the fifth day of the month, when I was among the captives by 
the river Chebar, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions 

1. The formula "T"p5 with the copula, 
is not unusual at the commencement of 
the sacred books of the Old Testament. 
Sec Joshua Judges, Ruth, Samuel, etc. 
It is designed to intimate the continua 
tion of historical or prophetic records. 
Considerable difficulty has been found 
in determining what particular date is in 
tended by the thirtieth year here specified. 
Setting aside the opinion, that it may 
indicate the age of the prophet, as being 
unusual in prophetic computations, or 
that it designates the number of years 
that had elapsed since the reformation 
effected in the eighteenth year of Jo- 
siah, as being destitute of any sufficient 
ground, the probable supposition is that 
advanced by Scaliger in his work De 
Emend. Tcmporum ; according to which 
the date is taken from the commence 
ment of the reign of Nabopolassar, which 
formed the era of the Babylonian empire, 
B.C. 625. As our prophet now lived 
under that monarchy is was natural for 

him here to adopt the chronology of the 
country, which he otherwise uses inter 
changeably with that of the captivity. 
See on chap. viii. 1. We find Daniel, 
and others of the prophets in like manner, 
employing the era of the people among 
whom they lived when out of their na 
tive country. *C3 , Chebar, the same as 
"n^n , Ilabor, whither the ten tribes had 
been transported by Tiglath-pileser and 
Shalmanczer, 2 Kings xvii. 6. It was 
a considerable river of Mesopotamia, 
formed by the confluence of a number 
of smaller streams, and known among 
the Greeks by the names of Xa&u>pas and 
Af)6pf>a.s, and among the Arabs by that 

of O ^ ? Khabour. It takes its rise 

near the ruins of Ras-cl-Ain, which lie 
in a south-westerly direction from the 
town of Merdin, and flows into the Eu 
phrates at Carchemish or Circusium, 
about two hundred miles to the north of 
Babylon. Layard describes it as flowing 



[CHAP. I. 2-4. 

2 of God. On the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth 

3 year of king Jehoiachin s captivity, the word of Jehovah came 
expressly to Ezekiel (the son of Buzi), the priest, in the land 
of the Chaldeans, by the river Chebar ; and the hand of Jehovah 
was upon him there. 

4 And I looked, and behold a whirlwind came out of the north, a 

great cloud, and a self-attracting fire, and a brightness round 

through the richest pastures and mead 
ows, its banks covered with flowers of 
every hue, and presenting the loveliest 
scene he had ever beheld. In this region 
the king of Babylon had planted a colony 
of Jews, among whom was our prophet, 
as he states, ver. 3. DTtix niXTS , vis- 
ions of God, do not mean representations 
of Deity exhibited to the bodily eyes of 
the prophet such an idea could only 
have originated in the theoretical spec 
ulations of the Hutchinsonian school ; 
but the sublime discoveries made to the 
mind of Ezekiel, and deposited in the 
present book. The phrase occurs again 
chaps, viii. .3 ; xl. 2. The revelations 
contained in them were such as had 
specially the glory of Jehovah for their 
object, including also such other objects 
as tended by symbolical representations 
to set forth to view the divine government 
of the world and the church. 

2,3. Comp. 2 Kings xxiv. 12; Jcr. 
xxii. 24, 25 ; xxix. 2. Jerome is of 
opinion, that, as Jehoiachin voluntarily 
surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar, n^3 is 
not, as in the LXX., to be rendered 
aixM a ^- a " TI a ) cajttivitas, but transmigratio. 
Ewald accounts for the change of person 
from the first to the third by the sup 
position that the prophet, on revising 
his book, inserted these two verses for 
the purpose of introducing the computa 
tion which dated from the commence 
ment of the captivity, together with his 
own name, which occurs again only chap. 
xxiv. 24. This computation Ezekiel 
afterwards uses, chaps, viii. 1 ; xx. 1 ; 
xxiv. 1 ; xxvi. 1 ; xxxi. 1 ; xxxii. 1 ; 
xl. 1. The first person is immediately 
resumed, vcr. 4, after the interruption 

of the narrative commenced vcr. 1. Ac 
cording to Hebrew usage (see Zcch. i. 1) 
the designation "JHS , priest, is in apposi 
tion with Ezekiel and not with Buzi. 

1 agree with Maurer in thinking that 
the double form !~!^r! t"Pn , in which the 
idea of the verb is expressed twice over, 
is employed for the sake of intensity or 
emphasis, so that the infinitive is not 
redundant, as Iloscnmiiller would make 
it. Our translators, therefore, properly 
add expressly, i? ! ^!J 1 " I 1~ 1 !! 5 the hand of 
Jehovah was upon, is a formula frequently 
used to denote the exertion of supernat 
ural and divine agency by which the 
prophets were prepared to receive and 
deliver divine communications. Comp. 

2 Kings iii. 15; Isaiah viii. 11 ; Ezck. 
xxxiii. 22 ; xxxvii. 1 ; xl. 1. Instead of 
"* T? > v l on ""> eight MSS., primarily 
four more, and now one by correction, 
the LXX., Syr., and Arab, read " S , 
upon me; but the variation has obviously 
arisen from the copyist not having ad 
verted to the interruption occasioned by 
the change of person. 

4. The formula Hjrn *T\^, I looked, 
and behold, is peculiar to the prophets Jer 
emiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Zccliariah. 
rnij p n""i , the whirlwind or tempest, so 
called from the violence with which it 
rushes on, and agitates and scatters the 
objects with which it is brought into 
contact, was a fit emblem to represent 
the divine judgments. Comp. Lsaiah 
xxix. 6 ; Jcr. xxiii. 19 ; xxv. 32 ; Nahum 
i. 3. This tempest the prophet saw 
coming "pBSH- pS , from the north, by 
which is indicated, not the heathenish 
idea, that that was the quarter of the 
heaven where the gods had their abode, 

CHAP. I. 4, 5.] EZEKIEL. 15 

about it, and from the midst of it as the appearance of polished 

5 brass from the midst of the fire. And from the midst of it was 

the resemblance of four living creatures, and this was their 

as Rosenmiillcr and Mauror expound, 
but the country of Babylon, whence the 
Chaldeans, who were a northern people, 
should come to execute the divine in 
dignation upon the Jews. Compare 
Jer. i. 14 ; iv. 6 ; vi. 1. The direction is 
taken, not from the position of the 
prophet at the time of the vision, for 
Babylon lay to the south of that, but in 
relation to Jtulca, against which the 
hostile power would come by taking a 
northerly course and entering it from 
that quarter. PY1& "|!3> , a yreat cloud, is 
introduced into the scene in order to 
enhance its magnificence and sublimity. 
The participle r">lJ35r}3 , rendered in 
folding itself, properly denotes reciprocal 
or reflexive action. The verb nj?3 , 
signifying to take, the Hithpael conjuga 
tion here used, conveys the idea of any 
thing taking hold of itself, or taking to 
itself; Finjsbrra U5X will, therefore, mean 
self-attracting fire, and, by implication, 
consuming what it thus attracts. LXX. 
irvp e|a<r Tpairroi/ ; Sym. Trip (vei\ovfj.efov , 
Aquil.\a.nRav6ij.tvov ; Vulg. ignis 
involvcns. The idea is that of a fire 
which lays hold on whatever surrounds 
it, draws it into itself, and devours it. 
A truly fearful object. The same form 
and mode of expression occurs Exod. 
ix. 24, in reference to the union of fire 
with the hail. To enhance the idea of 
the fire, it is added, that " out of the 
midst of it " was as the appearance of 
b^Cn , a term which occurs again ver. 
27, and in the feminine, chap. viii. 2, 
and respecting which there has been no 
small diversity of opinion. The most 
ancient interpretation is that given by 
the LXX. i)\fKTpoi>; Vulg. electrum, a 
metal compounded of gold and silver, 
and distinguished for its brilliancy. 
Compare x a ^ K0 ^ l ^ LVOV J burnished metal, 
Rev. i. 15. To render the word by amber, 
as our translators have done, is not so 

appropriate ; since this substance, though 
reckoned among the phosphori, from the 
circumstance that by friction it is made 
to yield light copiously in the dark, does 
not possess the brilliancy which the word 
in this part of the description would 
seem to require. Bochart and some of 
the older critics adopt the derivation 
rcnp, brass, and the Chaldee 5<bb}3, 
gold; but the word is more probably 
compounded of UJH5 for ficro , brass, 
the 3 and the n being removed by aphaa- 
resis, and bp_E , softened into 5^2 by the 
elision of the final 3 , to be smooth, so that 
polished brass is most easily brought out 
as the signification. The idea of exces 
sive splendor is evidently what it was 
intended to convey. See Gesenius in 
voc. and Stuart on Rev. i. 15, and com 
pare ver. 7. Hitzig is of opinion that 
the word is composed of two Chaldee 
terms, in use in the country where Eze- 
kiel was living. "\13 docs not signify 
color, as given in our common version 
after the Talmudic Hebrew, but eye, and 
hence by metonymy look, appearance, 
aspect, or the like. The repetition 
ttistl T\ir\V ftzinp is equivalent to 
from the midst of the fire. 

5. The prophet now comes to describe 
the extraordinary compound figures 
which he saw in vision. In treating of 
this subject I shall first examine the 
several details of the description, and 
then attempt to ascertain what the whole 
was designed to represent. In investi 
gating the subject, it must all along be 
borne in mind, that the object described 
was purely ideal, and not anything ac 
tually existing in rcrum natura. Hl^n , 
living creatures, as the word is properly 
rendered here by our translators ; but 
the corresponding term &>a, which John 
borrows from the LXX., they have as 
improperly rendered beasts, Rev. iv. 6. 
From the circumstance that they are 


E Z E K I E L . 

[CHAP. I. 5-9. 

6 aspect, they had the appearance of a man. And every one had 

7 four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were 
straight feet ; the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf s 
foot : and they sparkled like the appearance of polished brass. 

8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their 
four sides, and they four had their faces and their wings. 

9 Their wings were joined one to another ; they turned not when 
10 they went ; they went every one straight forward. And as for 

emphatically called " the liviny crea 
tures," it is manifest that the notion of 
life or vital energy must lie at the found 
ation of the idea. It is true that most 
of the animals were irrational creatures, 
but as one represented a human being 
there is an incongruity in designating 
them all by the term beasts. Man being 
the noblest in creation, his form is se 
lected as the pattern after which they arc 
represented. "Erib as feminine agrees 
with r"i*n ; but, the objects not being 
real, the distinction of sex is not kept 
up now the feminine, and now the 
masculine being employed. It is doubt 
less owing to inattention to this well- 
established rule of Hebrew syntax, that 
such a great number of various readings 
are found in the MSS. The point of 
comparison between the form of the 
living creatures and that of man would 
seem to be the erect posture of their 
bodies. To the number four our prophet 
appears to attach considerable impor 
tance, since he employs it so frequently 
in his description. 

6. The most striking peculiarity con 
nected with this cherubic representation 
is, that there were not only four distinct 
living creatures, but each of the four 
had four faces, the appearance of which 
is described at ver. 10. The aggregate, 
though not amounting to the number 
calculated by the Rabbins, amounted to 
not fewer than sixteen. 

7. Since the soles of the feet resembled 
those of a calf, it is evident the feet 
could not have projected horizontally 
like human feet, but must have formed 
a continuation of the legs stretching 

down vertically. In Hebrew the term 
-^53^ signifies, not the feet merely, but 
all the lower parts of the body. "" 7 ^ 
stntiijlit, therefore, must be intended to 
denote a perpendicular, and not a hori 
zontal direction. The feet must have 
been two in number, like those of man ; 
otherwise the number four would have 
been expressed, as it is with respect to 
the faces and the wings. 
polished brass. 

from which the 

adjective is derived, must originally have 
had as one of its significations tosmoothe, 
polish, though this signification is now 
only found in the 1 ilpel conjugation. 
Com p. Dan. x. 6. 

8. Instead of "I"}" 1 ; > the Keri and a 
great number of MSS., and among these 
the best Spanish, with the Brixian and 
Soncinian editions, read correctly " > "^\- 
The error of transcription has arisen 
from what has frequently taken place 
the elongation of Yod into Vau. The 
hand is, in Hebrew, a very common 
symbol of power; on the ground, that 
it is principally through that member of 
the body that power is exerted. It con 
sequently denotes active energy. 

9. The living creatures had no occa 
sion to turn when changing the direction 
in which they proceeded, for being four 
in number they had a face looking 
towards each of the four quarters of the 
heavens, and could move on without 
changing their posture. Ilitzig regards 
nrrinX-WK nrx rhs n as a gloss bor 
rowed from vcr. 1 1 , where the mention 
of the junction of the wings by pairs 
occurs most appropriately ; whereas here 
the impression left on the mind of the 

CHAP. I. 9-13 ] 



the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and 
the face of a lion, on the right side ; and they four had the face 
of a bull on the left side ; they four also had the face of an eagle. 

1 1 Thus were their faces, and their wings were parted upwards : 
two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two 

12 covered their bodies. And they went every one straight for 
ward ; whither the spirit was to go, they went : and they turned 
not when they went. 

13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was 

like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of lamps ; it went 
up and down among the living creatures ; and the fire was 

reader is, that all the four wings were 
joined together, which is not otherwise 
borne out by the description. 

10. Either we are to conclude that the 
face of the man was in front and that of 
the eagle behind, or that both that of the 
man and the lion were on the right side, 
as the position of the words in the text 
would seem to intimate, and thus Cas- 
talio and Lowth interpret ; but the two 
members of the first clause of the verse 
may be separated, and thus the former 
of these positions might be justified. In 
the Hebrew text this separation is ac 
tually made by the great distinctive 
accent Segolta, which shows the con 
struction adopted by the Masoretes. 
Each of the other animals being the most 
distinguished of its kind, I have not 
scrupled to render "fid by bull, as he is 
the strongest and most ferocious of the 
beeve kind. 

1 1 . Two of the wings being designed 
for flying are represented as expanded 
upwards, and the other two were ap 
propriated, for the sake of decency, to 
the covering of the bodies of the living 
creatures. The redundant form of the 
pronominal affix H3H in "I?, !! 1 !} 1 "I? s 
not peculiar to this place ; the prophet 
employs the masculine "T-3\J in the same 
way, chap. xl. 16. 

12. It has been matter of dispute, 
whether H Hrl here is to be rendered the. 
spirit or the wind. The term is suscep 
tible of either rendering, according to 


the circumstances of the context in 
which it occurs. In favor of the latter it 
has been urged, that, as special mention 
is made of nil , wind, ver. 4, it is most 
natural to conclude that reference is 
here made to the same. On the other 
hand, from its being expressly stated, 
that the HV1 was that of the living 
creature, or living creatures, ^^^ being 
taken as a collective noun, and from the 
motion of the compound figure being 
attributed to the will of the H^l (ver. 20), 
I consider it more appropriate to regard 
the term as expressive of the impulsive 
principle by which they were moved 
according to the divine pleasure. Comp. 
ver. 21, and chap. x. 17. Some regard 
njnrl Wl as equivalent to D" 1 ^ r]*"), 
the spirit of life, but the latter formula 
alone is used in this sense. 

13. The apparent tautology at the 
commencement of this verse may be 
relieved by remarking, that while ME"! 
expresses the general form or figure, 
"""S"^ expresses the particular aspect or 
appearance of a thing. The conjecture 
of Cappellus, who, to render the text 
conformable to <V /xeVy rwv <lxav of the 
LXX., would substitute TjWa for Pfia n , 
cannot be approved. From the circum 
stance that the LXX. have not translated 
X h n , we are not to conclude that it did 
not originally stand in the text. It 
refers to dx going before. W3 indi 
cates the splendor or brightness pro 
duced by the fire which was rendered 



[CiiAP. I. 13-21. 

14 bright ; and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living 
creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of 

15 And I beheld the living creatures, and behold there was one wheel 

16 upon the earth by the living creatures, with its four faces. The 
appearance of the wheels and their work, was the color of Tar- 
shish-stone ; and they four had one likeness ; and their appear- 

intensely hot by the coals with which it 
was led. rn"C2i is to be construed with 
"sT;?* though differing in gender, the 
idea of sex not being involved in the 
object. Sec on vcr. 5. 

14. Ilitzig proposes to read X1JP in 
stead of SOX i , as Gen. viii. 7, but ac 
knowledges bis inability to reconcile the 
idea of going and returning with the 
description verses 19-21. The current 
reading is more suitable, since the idea 
of velocity which it expresses is quite 
in keeping both with that part of the 
description and with the symbol of the 
eagle. D1C1 SOX"! , the infinitive for 
the finite forms of the verbs, is not un 
common in Hebrew syntax. The root 
K^7 to r " n > which occurs nowhere else, 
is equivalent to the usual form j^l. 
The objection of Ilitzig, that the idea of 
running and returning does not cor 
respond with that of the equable motion 
of the wheels, is of no force, since the 
action predicated is not that of the living 
creatures, or of the wheels attached to 
them, but that of the fire shooting forth 
its flames. To cancel the whole verse, 
with this author, because it is omitted 
by the LXX., would be most unwarrant 
able. The conjectural change of PJ2 
into p^2 , is equally unjustifiable. The 
latter word, which occurs at the end of 
the preceding verse, is a general term 
for lit/htning, the former is designed to 
express its coruscations or flashes. Comp. 

the Arab, ij VJ 5 to throw out, send forth, 

to scatter, to sow. Parchon explains the 
word by pISH "pa , species fulyuris. De 
Rossi s codices GO and 637 have gallice 
Kb^x:ab , I c llncelle, scintilla. 

15-21. The prophet now proceeds to 
describe the wheels which conveyed the 
living creatures. They were four in 
number, and of the singular structure, 
that one wheel appeared transversely 
within another, so that the chariot might 
roll on without turning, to whichever 
quarter the four living creatures sup 
porting it were to advance. Ilitzig ac 
knowledges a difficulty in "l n B > his faces, 
and not finding any term corresponding 
to it in the LXX., at once cancels it. 
Roscnmiillcr refers it to chariot under 
stood, but not expressed, which Maurer 
considers harsh ; and both he and Iliiv- 
crnick prefer the reference to D^JSIX , 
the ivheels, the singular affix 1 , his, being 
used collectively ; which seems, on the 
whole, the true exegesis. The observa 
tion that one of the wheels was 7"}^? , 
in the earth, intimates that only one of 
the transverse wheels appeared in contact 
with the ground at the same time, i.e. 
viewing the chariot from one of its sides, 
it being understood that the same was 
the case in regard to the corresponding 
wheel on the opposite side. "IHX , one, 
is regarded in relation to the wheel 
within a wheel, and not to the entire 
number. By ri^y^ , the work of the 
ivheels, is meant the material of the 
workmanship, not the fabrication of it. 
U^!~iP , gem or precious stone of Tar- 
shish ; Aquil. x.pvffo\[0ov ; Sym. vaidvOou ; 
the LXX. Bapffeis, which is merely the 
Hebrew name in Greek letters, on which 
the Scholiast remarks, rb Oapcreh xp v ~ 
ff6\t86v (t>T)<rii>, 3) voLKivOov. Kimchi, 

risrn "psi na-.a . it is supposed to 

have meant the topaz, a gem still found 
in Spain, and known to the ancients by 

CHAP. I. 15-22.] 



ance and their work was as it were a wheel within a wheel. 

17 When they went, they went upon their four sides ; they turned 

18 not when they went. And as for their felloes, and their height, 
they were terrible, and their felloes were full of eyes round about 

19 them four. And when the living creatures went, the wheels 
went beside them, and when the living creatures were lifted up 

20 from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. Whithersoever the 
spirit was to go, they went, whither the spirit was to go ; and 
the wheels were lifted up along with them for the spirit of the 

21 living creature was in the wheels. When those went, these went, 
and when those stood, these stood ; and when those were lifted up 
from the earth, the wheels were lifted up along with them ; for the 

22 spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. And the likeness 
of the firmament above the heads of the living creature was as the 
color of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above. 

the name of Tarshish, from the circum 
stance of its having been brought from 
Tartcssus. It is smooth and brilliant 
in appearance. It formed one of the 
gems in the breastplate of the high-priest. 
Exod. xxviii. 20. Comp. Song v. 14; 
Ezek. xxviii. 13 ; Dan. x. 6; in all which 
passages it is rendered beryl in our au 
thorized version. Ver. 17. The mean 
ing of this verse is, that when the wheels 
moved, they moved according as each of 
the four quarters or sides of the square 
chariot fronted the direction in which 
the movement was made. When a new 
direction was taken, the wheels that were 
not to roll were suspended from the 
ground, so as to leave the others free to 
perform their revolutions. The C^SS , 
rendered rinns in the authorized version, 
were the felloes forming the rim or cir 
cumference of the wheels. They arc 
described as so very high as to have been 
tremendous, vcr. 1 8. Much as they were 
thus calculated to impress the mind of 
the spectator, I can discover nothing 
specially symbolical in the property here 
ascribed to them, except it be that, from 
their extreme height, as they rolled 
round, the eyes that were in them must 
be conceived of as commanding a com 
plete view of whatever came within the 

scope of vision. In the sentence 

? tnc latter part is not to be 
considered as a bare tautology, but is a 
repetition for the purpose of more forci 
bly impressing the idea upon the mind. 
CrSI?3 , in correRjwndencc, or conjunction, 
along with them, vers. 20, 21 . The adverb 
over af/ is less appropriate. By 
"^HO H ! " l 7 j I he spirit of the livinij creature 
(put collectively for creatures) being in 
the wheels, is meant the impulsive in 
fluence by which they were put and kept 
in motion. See on vcr. 12, and comp. 
chap. x. 17. 

22. ^3 here is not to be rendered ujton, 
as if the firmament rested on the heads 
of the cherubim, but a xwe, as distinct 
from them, and occupying an elevated 
position. Sec on vcr. 26. 1"P|? prima 
rily signifies ice, and secondarily crystal, 
from its resemblance to it. The combi 
nation l"Hj3n X"V:fl , the terrible, crystal, 
expresses the effect produced upon a 
spectator by the view of a large mass of 
crystallization. It is so powerful when 
seen glistening in the sun, that the eye 
cannot sustain its lustre. Some have 
supposed that the diamond is meant, that 
gem being remarkable for its brilliance 
and hardness. 



[CHAP. I. 23-27. 

23 And under the firmament their wings were straight, one towards 
another ; each had two which covered on this side, and each had 

24 two which covered on that side, their bodies. And I heard the 
sound of their wings, like the sound of many waters, like the 
sound of the Almighty, when they went ; the sound of a tumult, 
as the sound of a host ; when they stood, they let down their wings. 

25 And there was a sound from the expanse which was above their 
head when they stood and let down their wings. 

26 And above the expanse that was over their head was the appear 

ance of a sapphire-stone, the likeness of a throne : and upon the 
likeness of the throne, was the likeness as the appearance of a 

27 man above upon it. And I saw as it were the appearance of 

23. Between the representation here 
given and that which we find ver. 11, 
there is no positive contradiction. Al 
though the two wings which were ex 
panded upwards were specially designed 
for flying, yet till they reached the sum 
mit of the figure and were parted from 
each other, they necessarily covered the 
upper part of the body, while the other 
two were specially intended to cover the 
lower parts. 

04. i T:rb ip , the voice of the Almiyliti/, 
means thunder. Sec Ps. xxix. ?1p 
"""I?*! occurring only here, and Jcr. xi. 
10, means the sound of d tumult, such as 
that of a multitude of warriors rushing 
on to the attack, as the prophet presently 
explains 3EH docs not occur as a root 
in Hebrew, but the corresponding Arab. 

, continue phtit, Ultcre Jluxit, sug 

gests the idea of impetuosity, or violent 
rushing, as of a heavy rain. The LXX. 
according to the Alexandrian copy have 
(pdivy TOV \oyov, t/ie voice of the Loi/ns, 
which Jerome explains of the second 
person of the Trinity. They must have 

read r&ari bip . 

25. As it would have been unbefitting 
in the living creatures to have continued 
moving on when the Almighty gave forth 
his voice, they are here represented as 
stopping in their course, and reverently 
letting their wings fall, while they listen 
in silence to the divine, communication. 

26. Ezckiel now advances to the high 
est point in the vision. Having men 
tioned the 2?p7 , expanse, in relation to 
the figures underneath it, his eye catches 
a glance of the throne of the Almighty, 
occupying a place above it, and the Di 
vine Being himself as there enthroned 
in human form. This divine manifesta 
tion is one of the most remarkable The- 
ophanies of the Old Testament. While, 
like other anthropomorphic appearances 
of the Deity, it was prelusive of the 
future incarnate state of the LOGOS, it 
distinctly and specially recognized the 
God-man Redeemer in his character as 
the inflicter of punishment upon his 
enemies. Comp. 2 Thcss, i. 7-9 ; Rev. 
xix. 11-16. The throne is described 
as having the appearance of "nQD"^ , 
a sapphire-stone. By this is meant, not 
the lapis lazuli, as some have imagined, 
but the gem properly called sapphire; 
which is surpassed only by the diamond 
in hardness, lustre, and beauty. It is 
mostly of a blue color, but is of various 
shades, from the deepest azure to the 
purest white. In the description given 
of the vision of the God of Israel (Exod. 
xxiv. 10), he is said to have had under 
his feet as it were a transparent work of 

27. The description here given of the 
Son of God (juite corresponds with that 
furnished, Dan. x. 5, 6 ; Rev. i. 14, 15. 
For ^SCn see on vcr. 4. S OO P&T^S , 

CHAP I. 27, 28.] EZEKIEL. 21 

polished brass, the likeness of fire within it around, from the 
appearance of his loins and upwards, and from the appearance 
of his loins and downwards, I saw as it were the appearance of 
18 fire, and it was surrounded with splendor. As the appearance 
of the bow which is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the 
appearance of the surrounding splendor. This was the appear 
ance of the likeness of the glory of Jehovah. And when I saw, 
then I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake. 

within it around, to indicate the intrinsic cheering appearance of a glorious rain- 
purity and terrible rectitude of the divine bow is presented to the view of the 
judgments. The appearance of the Di- prophet, who had fallen prostrate under 
vine Man being wholly invested with an overwhelming sense of the majesty 
fire, likewise denoted his readiness to and glory of manifested Deity. "W lXJl 
punish the wicked with awful destruc- 3BX1 , lit. and I saw and I fdl. The 
tion. force of the conjunctive particle in this 
28. To intimate that however severe case, is simply to point out the relation 
should be the divine judgments, still of the two verbs to each other, the one 
they would be accompanied with dis- indicating the cause, and the other the 
plays of faithfulness and mercy, the effect. 

Respecting the import of the cherubim described in Scripture, and more especially 
those supposed to be described in the visions of Ezekiel, there has been much specu 
lation. Various attempts have been made to harmonize the different passages in 
which they are presented to view, and very different have been the hypotheses 
which have been constructed in elucidation of them. I shall not, however, detain 
my readers with anything in the shape of a critical review of these hypotheses, 
adjusting their respective merits and demerits, or with any attempts to prove their 
inapplicability to the subject before us. I shall content myself with examining the 
various parts of the picture in their bearing upon the historical aspects of the times 
in which the prophet flourished, and the object which the Spirit of inspiration may 
be supposed to have had in view in suggesting the images to his mind. 

At one time it was fashionable to endeavor to obtain light from the aids of ety 
mology ; but all Hebraists of note now acquiesce in the opinion, that the search in 
this quarter is fruitless, there being no certain data on which to rest, cither in the 
Hebrew or in any of the cognate dialects. 

The principal difficulty which has pressed upon all who have made the vision the 
subject of investigation, has consisted in their having attempted to construct an 
hypothesis that should reconcile all the phenomena of the different passages of scrip 
ture in which the cherubim are presented to view. Accordingly, though on some 
points their opinions might at first sight appear to satisfy the claims of certain pas 
sages, they are found more or less to clash with others; as I am satisfied every 
hypothesis must which lays it down as a first principle that the cherubim, wherever 
they occur in scripture, are symbolical of the same identical objects. Of the form 
or appearance of those stationed at the gate of Paradise, and of those placed on the 
mercy -seat in the tabernacle and the temple, we have no account; and all attempts 
to transfer to them any part or parts of the description in Ezekiel s vision proceed 
upon a gratuitous assumption. 

It must be obvious to every attentive reader of the Bible that the symbols were 
not fixed and uniform, but varied according to circumstances. Proceeding upon 


this as a generally admitted fact, I shall now, without stopping to examine the 
import of the symbols in other passages, proceed to place before my readers what 
appears to me to be the symbolical teaching of the living creatures as described by 
Ezekiel. Regarding it as a first principle in hermencutics, that the statements of a 
writer are to be interpreted in accordance with his position, or the circumstances in 
which lie is placed, and the scope and tenor of his work, it is necessary that we 
inquire what were those circumstances in the history of our prophet or his times 
that may be supposed to throw light upon the subject. A portion of the Jewish peo 
ple had been transported to the banks of the Che-bar. Their city and temple still 
stood; but the greater number of the inhabitants that had been left behind still 
indulged in the grossest idolatrous practices. To punish them for their daring and 
obstinate rebellion against the God of their fathers, he had purposed to employ the 
power of the Chaldeans, whose army should invade Judea, invest Jerusalem, burn 
the city and the temple, exercise the greatest cruelties upon the inhabitants, and 
carry away the principal of them into captivity in Babylon. Now it was, I conceive, 
to represent symbolically this formidable hostile power that Ezekicl had presented 
to his view in sublime vision a colossal compound object, consisting of the resem 
blance of four living creatures, each of which had the face of a,man, a lion, a bull, 
and an eagle. Add to which, wheels of tremendous size, and wings for flight, with 
hands for operation under their wings. Being all designated living creatures, and 
each of those specified being the most distinguished of his class, it is evident that 
life or vital energy in its highest visible creature form is intended to be represented. 
The properties at once suggested by the symbols are those of intelligence, strength, 
swiftness, and ferocity. And the combination of them all in one figure I regard as 
designed to set forth the truly appalling and destructive character of the agency to 
be employed for the punishment of the Jews. They are to be viewed not as abstract 
qualities, but as concrete in the person of Nebuchadnezzar as the head of the Baby 
lonian empire. Though the elements of the vision arc altogether unique in regard 
to their composite form, they are found either separately or partially combined, as 
symbols of royalty, both in scripture and in profane antiquity. " Throughout all 
Pagan mythology, the lion and the bull arc the emblems, respectively, of royalty 
and of power, and these animals are consequently of frequent recurrence, cither 
singly or in a form compounded of both animals, among almost all the ancient 
structures of Persia." Vaux s Nineveh and Pcrsepolis, p. 293. 

In numerous passages of the Bible animals are employed to symbolize monarchs 
or royal personages, as heads of nations or leaders of armies. Thus the lion, as the 
most daring and powerful of all the carnivorous animals, the monarch of the forest, 
was selected as the symbol of the tribe of Judah (Gen. xlix. 9), in reference to which 
our Saviour, in his regal character, is styled " the lion of the tribe of Judah" (Rev. 
v. 5). This symbol was specially prominent in the fourteen lions which supported 
and adorned the throne of Solomon (1 Kings x. 19, 20). Under the same symbol 
the king and royal family of Nineveh arc represented (Xah. ii. 11). The ox or bull, 
the principal animal of the beeve kind, distinguished for his strength and ferocity, 
is similarly employed as a symbol of the prince of Shcchem (Gen. xlix. G). In the 
same light we arc doubtless to regard the colossal bull discovered by Layard among 
the sculptured ruins of Nineveh, and now in the British Museum. To the formidable 
and ferocious character of this animal, reference is made Ps. xxii. 12. With respect 
to the eagle, renowned as the king of the birds of prey, and remarkable for his far 
sightedness, velocity, and strength, he is employed as a symbol of the king of Baby 
lon (Ezek. xvii. 3, 7), the swiftness of whose armies is compared to that of the 
eagle (Hah. i. 8). He is also spoken of as the most eminent of the birds of prey 
(Isa. xlvi. 11), to symbolize Cyrus, who was the first to use the figure of this bird 
on his military standard a custom afterwards adopted by the Romans, and in 


modern times by the Austrians, Russians, and other continental nations, all of whom 
regard the eagle as the bird of victory. " It is remarkable that in the earliest As 
syrian monuments, one of the most frequently met with is the eagle-headed human 
figure. In other cases the head of the bird occurs, united with the body of a lion." 
Vaux, ut sup., p. 32. If all the properties thus symbolized are united with tho 
intelligence and skill of man, we have then one of the most terrific objects that can 
be presented to the human imagination. While the symbols must have powerfully 
impressed the mind of Ezekiel, and urged him as a faithful watchman to give his 
guilty people warning of their impending danger, there was in the rainbow, as the 
mild sign of the covenant, an assurance that the judgment of God s providence 
should be tempered with mercy, so that while the incorrigible should perish without 
remedy, Jehovah would treat the penitent with compassion, and make for them a 
way to escape. No introduction to his prophetic ministry could have been more 

Recollecting that there were no fewer than four such compound symbolical forms, 
we are furnished with a most imposing picture of the rapid, resistless, ferocious, 
and all-subduing conquests of the king of Babylon, powerfully calculated to inspire 
the Jews with terror, and induce them by timely repentance and the abandonment 
of their idolatrous and other wicked courses to avert tho severe judgments with 
which they were threatened. The idea of a vast military apparatus, with lofty 
wheels, bearing down upon them, full of eyes from whose glance there could be no 
possibility of escape, accompanied with images of skill, velocity, invincibility, and 
cruelty, must have greatly increased their terror; and it is only by taking into con 
sideration their deep-rooted aversion to their covenant-God, and their fixed deter 
mination to cleave to their idols, that we can account for their rejection of the 
prophetic messages which thus bore on their front such portentous intimations of 
approaching wrath. 

In contemplating this sublime vision, special attention must be paid to what is 
exhibited in its two separate compartments the living creatures with all their 
appurtenances, as significant of the providential execution of the divine purposes 
on earth; and the glory of Jehovah, enthroned in human form above the expanse. 
The former is represented as movable, ready, without turning aside or back, to 
proceed withersoever it was the divine purpose it should go; the latter as stationary 
and permanent, exhibiting the Supreme Ruler on the throne of the universe, directing 
and controlling all things according to the pleasure of his own will; managing with 
perfect case the vast concerns of his empire; making the wrath of man to praise 
him, and restraining the remainder of it. To intimate the future incarnate state of 
the Logos, in which were involved the all-important results of redemption, and with 
a view to which the covenant-people were to be preserved in spite of all the hostility 
that might be brought to bear upon them, the theophany exhibits humanity upon 
the throne, invested with all the glory of Deity. 


[ClIAP. II. 1-3. 


Ezekiel now receives his prophetic commission, 1-5. Ho is instructed not to bo intimidated 
by the formidable opposition he should meet with from his infidel countrymen, but 
faithfully to deliver his message, 6-8; which is emblematically represented as being of 
a very mournful character, 9, 10. 

1 AND he said to roe, Son of man stand upon thy feet, and I will 

2 speak to thee. And the Spirit entered into me when he spake 
with me, and set me on my feet ; then I heard him that spake 

3 with me. And he said unto me, Sou of man, I send thee to the 

1. t^N~"|2 , son of man. This desig 
nation, by which Ezekiel is addressed 
upwards of a hundred times, is given to 
no other prophet except Daniel, who 
receives it only once, chapter viii. 17. 
Though Jerome, with whom Havernick 
agrees, accounts for the singularity by 
the supposition, that our prophet was 
thus addressed to prevent his being elated 
with pride by the sublime visions with 
which he was favored, there does not 
appear to be more in the phrase than an 
Aramaic idiom, in common use in the 
country in which Ezekiel was living. 
In the Syriac New Testament it is of 
frequent occurrence as merely parallel 
with man. Thus, however strange it 
may sound in our ears, we read 1 Cor. 

xv. 45, "Adam the first son of man;" 


and again, ver. 47, " The first son of man 
was of the earth ; the second son of man 
was the Lord from heaven." Traces of 
the same idiom occur in Hebrew, in 
which C lX , man, and CTX""j3 , son of 
man, are perfectly parallel, Numb, xxiii. 
19; Job. xxv. 6 ; xxxv. 8 ; Ps. viii. 5. 
To encourage the prophet, he is com 
manded to rise from the prostrate position 
into which he had fallen, and standing 
on his feet, to receive his commission. 
TjHX instead of ?]nst > as frequently in 

2. It has been made a question whether 
by H H here we arc to understand breath, 
the animal spirit, or the Holy Spirit of 
God as imparted for invigorating the 

exhausted mind of the prophet. As the 
Queen of Shebu was so overcome by the 
sight of the splendor of Solomon s royal 
court, that it is said there was no more 
H""l , spirit or breath, in her, 1 Kings x. 5, 
thus it has been maintained, E/.ekiel was 
so completely overpowered by the tran 
scendent splendor of the Lord s glory, 
presented to his view as narrated in the 
preceding chapter, that he had fallen 
exhausted to the earth, i. 28. The con 
necting of the entering of this Ruach 
with the address that was given to tho 
prophet, might seem to argue that the 
term is to be taken in this inferior ac 
ceptation ; but the effect of its entering 
into him being represented as making 
him to stand on his feet, decides the 
question in favor of the Spirit of God 
being intended. The speaker on this, 
as on other occasions, was the Logos, 
who commissioned the prophets, and 
revealed to them the divine will. The 
Dagesh forte in the Dalcth of * 1 ? n < 2 , 
which the punctator appears to have 
placed, on the supposition that the word 
was the participle of Ilithpael, affords 
no sense. It should be pointed "" r^E 
the participle of Piel, and tins punctua 
tion we find in some of the best Hebrew 

3. Ezekiel is reminded of the fact, of 
which he must have had abundant proofs 
before he left Jerusalem, that the people 
among whom he was to exercise his 
prophetic ministry had all along been 

CHAP. II. 3-7 ] 

E Z E K I E L . 

children of Israel, to rebellious heathen, who have rebelled 
against me, they and their fathers have sinned against me, unto 
this very day. And as for the children, they are hard-faced and 
stout-hearted. I send thee to them, and thou shalt say unto 
them : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah. And as lor them, whether 
they will hear, or whether they will forbear (for they are a 
rebellious house), they shall assuredly know that a prophet hath 
been among them. And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, 
neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be 
with thee, and thou dvvellest among scorpions ; be not afraid of 
their words, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they are 
a rebellious house. And thou shalt speak my words unto them, 
whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear ; for they 

notorious for their rebellious disposition 
towards their covenant-God. Though, 
instead of C^IJ , nations. Gentiles, heat/tens, 
one of DC Rossi s MSS., the Syr., and 
the Targum read """ja, nation, in the 
singular, yet the plural form seems to 
have been purposely ehosen in order 
emphatically to express the heathenish 
character of the Jewish people, which 
they had acquired by adopting the idola 
trous practices of the nations by whom 
they were surrounded. In like manner 
Isaiah identifies the people in his day 
with the inhabitants of Sodom and Go 
morrah, i. 10. The position of Ilitzig, 
that the plural, and not the singular, is 
employed, because the Hebrews, to whom 
the prophet was sent, were no longer a 
nation, but only separate portions of it, 
is by no means borne out by the signi 
fication of n^"ia , nations, Deut. xxviii. 12, 
to which be refers. 

4. B CSn , the children, is to be taken 
as a noun absolute, and is a resumption 
of "!H>3 , they, in the preceding verse. 
It places the living generation in more 
aggravating apposition with CPISX } 
their Jlit In /*. E"2S H-p , hard-faced, im 
pudent, shameless. Those whom the 
prophet had to address had put on a 
bold front, and were resolute in their 
determination to cleave to their abomi 
nations. Their very countenance was 
an index to their obstinacy of heart. 

5. The form CN - CX , if if, or wheth 
er whether, puts two supposablc, but 

uncertain cases. Were the former re 
alized, there would be the exercise of 
pardoning mercy ; in case there should 
be a desisting to hear, or a rejection of 
the prophet s message, the consequent 
infliction of the threatened punishment 
would be an irrefragable proof of his 
divine commission. The copulative 1 
in ^"^1 is emphatic : they shall certainly 

G, 7. The repetition of N VTr isX , be 
not afraid, gives peculiar emphasis to the 
sentence, and is not to be exchanged in 
the second instance for nrn~3X , be not 
dismayed, as Hitzig proposes, to make 
the original correspond to chap. iii. 9, 
and to twrrjs of the LXX. The very 
circumstance that rnrrbso rn->prbx 
occur together immediately after renders 
it less probable that an error of tran 
scription is to be suspected in the present 
instance. There is no variation in the 
MSS. Ezckiel was not to allow himself 
to be intimidated by the formidable op 
position he should meet with from his 
countrymen. Because 2^0 in Chaldce 
signifies to be refractory, rebellious, Ge- 
senius, Lee, and others, ascribe this 
signification to the Hebrew here, where 
the noun occurs as a #?ra \ty. ; but from 
D^znO occurring in immediate combina 
tion with D s 3"iiO , thorns, it appears 



[CHAP. II. 7-10. 


are most rebellious. But thou, son of man, hear what I say to 
thee : be not thou rebellious like the rebellious house ; open 
thy mouth and eat that which I give thee. And I looked, and 
behold a hand was extended to me, and behold there was in it 
a roll of a book. And he spread it before me, and it was written 
on the face and the back ; and there was written on it, LAMEN 

more natural to adopt the acceptation 
in which it is taken by the Rabbins, who 
render it by briers or nettles. Compare 
for the etymology "0 , vj^ : J , "I , to 
burn, "iB^O nettle, as the Latin urtica 
from uro, to burn, in reference to the 
burning sensation occasioned by the 
stinging of the nettle. Huubigant is of 
opinion that this signification of the term 
may be supported on the ground that it 
is parallel with scorpions, which occurs 
afterwards in the verse ; C^pSD occurs 
again in the singular, "SO j with the 
signification of thorn, chap, xxviii. 24. 
The noun is derived from itO , to raise, 
elevate, hence used of the boughs and 
twigs of the palm-tree, and so of the 
thorns or prickles with which they arc 

covered. Thus the Arab. JiULww , spince 

in palmaritm ramis. S"^p? > lite scorpion, 
is a formidable insect, the body of which 
terminates abruptly in a jointed tail, 
armed at the extremity with an acute 
spike. It lives in places exposed to the 
sun, and, hiding under stones or in 
crevices, runs rapidly when disturbed, 
with its tail curved over its back. The 
larger ones in tropical climes arc from 
five to eight inches in length, and have 
a sting which is very much dreaded, as 
its poison frequently causes convulsions 
and death. In some places they arc so 
numerous as to become a constant object 
of apprehension to the inhabitants. By 
the use of these metaphors, borrowed 
from the vegetable and animal kingdoms, 
Jehovah indicates to the prophet the 
annoying and dangerous character of 
those to whom he was sent. Instead of 
"HT3 , rebellion, in ver. 7, twenty MSS., 

the LXX., Syr., Arab., and Targ. read 
>1 "! ? ^^i house of rebellion, or, taking 
"^Y adjectively, rebellious house. This 
reading, which is that in vers. 5, G, and 
8, and chap. iii. 26, 27, is also found in 
three of the earliest editions. The Chald. 
has C2 , people. On the ground, that 
abstract nouns are used to express in 
tensity, our translators render *^p by 
most rebellious. 

8-10. There was so much in the com 
munications which Ezckiel had to make 
that was calculated to stir up the enmity 
of the hearts of his people against him, 
that he must naturally have shrunk back 
from the undertaking, or been tempted 
to modify or soften down the terms of 
his message. lie is, therefore, warned 
not to imitate his countrymen in their 
refractory and disobedient disposition, 
but fully to possess himself of that mes 
sage, carefully to digest it in his mind, 
and faithfully to deliver it to his hearers. 
To express the former of these ideas, the 
mctaplior of eating food is employed, 
just as Jer. xv. 10 ; Ezck. iii. 1 ; Rev. 
x. 9, 10; which last-cited passage is 
exactly parallel with the language in 
our prophet. Of course the language is 
to be understood symbolically, and not 
of a real transaction; just as when we 
speak of devouring a book, the meaning 
is that we peruse it with the greatest 
avidity. Thus also the Latin, devorare, 
det/lutire, intbibere. The books of the 
ancients were in the shape of rolls, and 
were usually written on what would be 
the inside when rolled up. When, how 
ever, the quantity of matter was too 
great to admit of its being contained 
within this space, the remainder was 

CHAP. III. 1-6.] 



inscribed on the back. Hence the phrase of the present roll were, their import is 
"linx! 0^:3 , on the face, and the back, summed up in the three emphatic words 
The inside is called the face, because h "!? " 3^ &^~P., lamentations and mourn- 
when unrolled it is that which presents ing and woe. n <"j is formed, by apha;resis 
itself to view. Large as the contents of 3 , from " "I.? a ditty or doleful song. 


This chapter begins with a resumption of the subject with which that preceding had con 
cluded, somewhat amplifying it, and stating the prophet s compliance with the injunc 
tion given him, 1-3. He has again placed before him the obstinate character of those 
to whom he was sent, 4-7; but he is assured that he shall be enabled to confront them, 
8-10. He is next carried in vision to a colony of Jews in the neighborhood, 11-15; 
where, after a period of seven days, he receives a fresh charge, 16-21. Having been 
removed to some distance, he is favored with a repetition of the vision of the Shechinah, 
that he might be further instructed how to proceed, and told what would be the result 
of his mission, 22, 23. He is then commanded to retire to his house, where he is to be 
restrained for a season from public duty, and afterwards to go forth and announce to 
the people that it was at their option whether they would obey or not, 24-27. 

1 AND he said unto me, Son of man, eat that which thou findest, eat 

2 this roll, and go, speak unto the house of Israel. Then I opened 

3 my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto 
me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with 
this roll which I give thee. Then I ate it, and it was in my 

4 mouth like honey for sweetness. And he said unto me, Son of 
man, come, go unto the house of Israel, and speak with my 

5 words unto them. For ,thou art not sent unto a people deep of 

1. Instead of ^X?^ PP? , house of 
Israel, the reading -SOC"^ "^S , children 
of Israel, is found in eighteen of Kenni- 
cott and De Rossi s MSS. ; it has origi 
nally been in four more, is now in one 
by emendation, and appears in the printed 
text of the Soncinian edition. It has the 
suffrages of the Syr., Vulg., and Chahl. 
The present textual reading occurs ver. 
4, without any variation in the MSS. 
and versions. 

3. The prophet is again charged, in 
more particular terms, to appropriate 
the contents of the roll. The language 
is of the same metaphorical stamp as 
before. The delightful sensation which 
he experienced, notwithstanding the 
doleful character of the roll, was pro 

duced by the conviction, that the mes 
sages which it contained were instinct 
with glorious exhibitions of the divine 
holiness and the equity of the divine 
government subjects which must ever 
afford refined pleasure to the renewed 
mind. Compare, as parallel in senti 
ment and phraseology, Rev. x. 8-11. 
Hitzig remarks, that the M in ^ r^J 
is raphc, on account of the distinctive 

5, G. "p^V ^T! i" 1 ? ^ h? 1 ?? > lit. deep 
of lip and heavy of tonr/ue : phraseology 
formed with reference to n malformation 
of the organs of speech, by which the 
expression of ideas by articulate sounds 
is rendered difficult and unintelligible. 
It was natural for the Hebrews to use it 



[CHAP. III. 5-13. 




speech and heavy of tongue, but unto the house of Israel. Not 
to many peoples of deep speech and heavy of tongue, whose 
words thou shouldest not understand : surely if I had sent thee 
unto them, they would have listened unto thce. But the house 
of Israel will not listen unto thee, for they are not willing to 
listen unto me : for all the house of Israel are of impudent fore 
head, and hard-hearted. Behold, I have made thy face strong 
against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their fore 
heads. As an adamant, harder than flint, have I made thy fore 
head ; be not afraid of them, neither be dismayed at their faces, 
though they are a rebellious house. He said further unto me, 
Son of man, all my words which I shall speak unto thee, receive 
in thy heart and hear with thine ears. And come, go to the 
captivity, to the children of thy people, and speak unto them, 
and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, whether they 
will hear, or whether they will forbear. Then the Spirit lifted 
me up, and I heard behind me the sound of a great rushing, 
saying, Blessed be the glory of Jehovah from his place. Also 

when speaking of foreigners whose, lan 
guage they diil not understand. To 
show more strikingly the unreasonable 
ness of the Jewish people in rejecting 
the message of the prophet, he is told 
that if he luul been sent to any of the 
barbarous nations witli whose language 
he was unacquainted, they would never 
theless have at least listened, and not 
turned a deaf car to him. None of the 
ancient versions have expressed X? after 
CS in ver. G. The only way of inter 
preting the two particles as here com 
bined is to regard them as expressing 
a strong asseveration or obtestation. 
Comp. Job i. 11 ; ii. 5; xxii. 20; Isa. 
v. 9. They arc therefore properly ren 
dered suiY/y in our Authorized Version ; 
and the rendering of Ncwcomc, who 
retains the negative sense, is to be re 

7. The Jews labored under no physical 
incapacity to understand the prophet, 
but were morally disinclined to listen to 
the divine message by whomsoever it 
might be delivered. 

8, 9. Ezekiel was not to be discouraged 

or intimidated by the shameless treat 
ment he had to expect from his country 
men. Strengthened by Him of whose 
message he was the bearer, he should be 
able to face them with all boldness, and 
unreservedly to make known to them 
the divine communications. 

12* 1-3. 15y H 1 !"! here we are not, with 
Ilitzig and others, to understand irind, 
but the prophetic Spirit by whom Eze 
kiel was impelled to proceed on his mis 
sion. Comp. Acts viii. 30 : nvei>/j.a 
Kup iov "ipiracrf rbv Qikiinrov. In neither 
case is a supernatural passage through 
the air to be imagined. The import of 
the sound of great rushing, which the 
prophet heard, was an ascription of 
praise to the divine glory which he had 
seen above the firmament, chap. i. 2G-128. 
The manifestations of that glory had 
been at the temple of Jerusalem, but had 
now departed and been withdrawn to the 
immediate divine presence in heaven. 
In connection with the display of that 
glory which Ezekiel had witnessed, he 
now hears the sound of the cherubic 
apparatus as already on its way towards 

CHAP. III. 13-21.] 



the sound of the wings of the living creatures touching each 
other, and the sound of the wheels over against them, even the 

14 sound of a great rushing. And the Spirit lifted me up, and took 
me away. And I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit ; 

15 and the hand of Jehovah was strong upon me. And I came to 
the captives at Tel-abib, who dwelt on the river Chebar, and 
I beheld them sitting there, and I sat there seven days, aston 
ished, among them. 

1C And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of 

17 Jehovah came unto me, saying: Son of man, I have appointed 
thee a watchman to the house of Israel ; hear then the word 

18 from my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say to the 
wicked, Thou shalt surely die, and thou warnest him not, nor 
speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to make him 
live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood 

Jerusalem. The Cl pE * place of the di 
vine glory, was that of its manifestation 
over the mercy-scat. As it indicated the 
peculiar presence of Jehovah, thither 
the special adoration of the Jews was 
directed. The E prefixed is privative 
in signification, and expresses the remo 
val of the Shechinah from the temple. 
See chap. ix. 3. 

14. Partly alarmed by the sound, and 
partly discouraged by anticipating the 
fruitless results of his mission, the proph 
et proceeded with a heavy heart, but a 
powerful divine impulse urged him for 

15. S" 1 ?!* 3F}, Tel-abib, an accusative 
absolute, the name of a place in the 
neighborhood, most probably the princi 
pal location of the captive Jews. ?H 
signifies an elevation, mound, or heap, and 
is still incorporated with the names of 
ruined cities in the East. Michaelis 
supposes the town to be the same that 
is called T/ia/laba an the map of D An- 
villc, situated on the Chabour, between 
Resein and Obeidia. If the name was 
given to the place by the Jewish captives, 
it may have been intended to express 
their hopes of future restoration, -^35< 
signifying the green cars of corn which 
appeared in the month Nisan, the first 


of the civil months of the Jewish year. 
To 3 iW , as occurring first in this verse 
in many of the best MSS., and three of 
the early editions, and which the Keri, 
after the Chald., approves, "V-JXJ! of the 
Textus Rcceptus is decidedly to be pre 
ferred, since the other reading makes no 
sense. The root of "VX is "WJ , to look, 
behold, and the punctuation should be 
as DJt, l Kings Hi. 21. That 
an is to be taken in the oblique case, 
Ilit/.ig justifies by a reference to Jer. xlvi. 
5, nan T^N-I ?Wa , and removes the 
zakeph katon from the preceding word. 
When the prophet arrived at Tel-abib, 
instead of finding the Jews engaged 
with different occupations, he beheld 
them sitting on the banks of the river, 
no doubt in the attitude of grief on ac 
count of their banishment from Jeru 
salem. Comp. Ps. cxxxvii. 1. Partly 
from a kindred feeling, and partly to 
show his sympathy with them, lift took 
his place among them in the same atti 
tude, disconsolate, for the space of seven 

16-21. It is well remarked by Fair- 
bairn, that Ezekicl alone of all the proph 
ets i> formally appointed to the office of 
watchman. In this interesting para 
graph he is specially instructed respect- 

30 E Z E K I E L . [CHAP. III. 16-27. 

19 will I require at thy hand. And them, wlien thou warnest the 
wicked, and he turneth not from his wickedness and from his 
wicked way, lie shall die in his wickedness, but thou hast deliv- 

20 ered thy soul. And when a righteous man turneth from his 
righteousness, and committeth wickedness, and I put a stum 
bling-block before him he shall die ; because thou warnedst him 
not, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousnesses which he 
hath wrought shall not be remembered, but his blood I will 

21 require at thy hand. But thou, when thou warnest a righteous 
man not to sin, and the righteous man sinneth not, he shall 
surely live, because he took warning, and thou hast delivered 

22 thy soul, And the hand of Jehovah was there upon me, and 
he said unto me : Arise, go forth unto the valley, and there will 

23 I speak unto thee. Then I arose, and went forth unto the 
valley, and behold, the glory of Jehovah was standing there, as 
the glory which 1 beheld by the river Chebar, and I fell upon 

24 my face. Then the Spirit entered into me, and caused me to 
stand upon my feet, and he spake unto me, and said unto me : 

25 Go, shut thyself up in the midst of thy house. But thou, son 
of man, behold, they will put cords upon thee, and bind thee 

26 with them, and thou shalt not go forth among them. And I 

ing the duties of his office, and shown prophet, he receives an inspired charge 

the bearing of the discharge, or the neg- to repair to a valley or plain in the 

lect of them, both on his own interests neighborhood, that there, in a state of 

and on the interests of those to whom seclusion from his countrymen, he might 

he was sent. The awful responsibility obtain a fresh manifestation of the divine 

of the public teachers of religion is here glory, and receive further communica- 

strikingly depicted. tions from the Angel of the Covenant 

20. ?"i T? > (i stuinblinq-iilock, or occa- The "~I~P, 2 is not further described, hut 

sion of moral falling. It is thus the it was in all probability, a cleft or valley 

passage is to be understood ; for we between two mountains, running in the 

cannot conceive of God s laying any- direction of the Chebar. As the vision 

thing in the way of a moral agent that here specified is restricted to the glory 

would necessarily cause him to sin. of the Lord, it is evident it did not in- 

There may be an adaptation in the elude that of the cherubim, 
object to call forth the sinful propensities 24-27. Having been again raised by 

of the human heart, but there is no com- the power of the Divine Spirit from the 

pulsory influence exerted in any way to ground, on which he had fallen, I zekicl 

affect the free-agency of the individual, is charged to return and shut himself up 

For T!p"lS in the singular the Kcri has in his house, with the intimation that 

VrPp i:* in the plural, to agree with he should be restrained for a time from 

prjri . discharging the duties of his prophetic 

22. For the purpose of producing a office, after which he was to announce 

deeper impression upon the mind of the to the people that they had to make their 

CHAP. IV. 1, 2.] 



will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, and thou 
shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover, for they 
27 are a rebellious house. But when I speak unto thee, I will 
open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the 
Lord Jehovah : He that heareth, let him hear ; and he that 
forbeareth, let him forbear ; for they are a rebellious house. 

election, whether they would receive or 
reject the divine message. The binding 
of the prophet by the people is not to be 
understood literally, but is spoken alle- 
gorically of the influence which their 
rebellious conduct would exert upon his 
spirit, filling him with despondency, and 
thus disqualifying him from frankly and 
faithfully bearing his testimony against 

them. Nothing is more dispiriting to 
a minister than to see his people indis 
posed to profit by his labors. As a just 
judgment upon them, God threatens 
that he would render his servant incapa 
ble of ministering among them, than 
which we cannot imagine a worse state 
in which a people can be left. 


Under the symbol of a siege the prophet is commanded to portray the investment of Jeru 
salem by the Chaldeans, 1-3; then to lie a certain number of days on his two sides 
alternately, as under a heavy burden, to serve as a type of the punishment to which the 
Hebrews of the two kingdoms were to be subjected for their sins, 4-6. To represent 
the extremities to which they were to be exposed during the siege, he was to prepare 
food made up of different kinds of grains, and bake it with the most nauseous fuel, and 
then from time to time to eat a small quantity, as well as to use a stinted quantity of 
water, 7-13. After being indulged with a modification in the article of fuel, he is fur 
nished with a direct application of the symbol to the circumstances of the inhabitants 
of Jerusalem, 14-17. 

1 AND thou, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and 

2 portray upon it a city, even Jerusalem. And lay siege against 
it, and build a fort against it, and raise a mound against it, and 

1. Hitzig fancifully concludes from 
the etymological signification of ^ r -r? 
that it was a lime-stone the prophet was 
commanded to take ; but (trick was like 
wise so called, from the white clay of 
which it was frequently made, and which 
was either burned in the kiln or dried in 
the sun. Some of the latter kind ac 
quired a sufficient degree of compactness 
to admit of inscriptions or impressions 
of various objects being represented on 
them. Such bricks abound in the ruins 
of Babylon and the remains of other 

ancient cities in the vicinity of the region 
in which Ezekiel was. They are fre 
quently of two feet in length by one in 
breadth ; consequently sufficiently large 
to allow of what is here described being 
portrayed upon them. 

2. For p?^ i specula, watch-tower, see 
on Jer. Hi. 4. * Iliivernick plausibly 
interprets from the etymology ("^S* or 
" j?? signifying to dig or bore through), 
and renders the term by Durchbrecher. 
So far as the derivation is concerned he 
certainly is correct, since the word, as 


E Z E K I E L . 

[Cnxp. IV. 2-6. 

set camps against it, and place battering rams against it round 
about. And thou, take to thee a pan of iron, and make it a 
wall of iron between thee and the city, and direct thy face against 
it, and it shall be in a state of siege, and thou shalt besiege it : 
it is a sign to the house of Israel. And thou, lie upon thy left 
side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it ; the 
number of the days which thou shalt lie upon it, thou shalt bear 
their iniquity. For I have appointed for thee the years of their 
iniquity, according to the number of days, three hundred and 
ninety days ; and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of 
Israel. And when thou hast finished these, then thou shalt lie a 

a primitive noun, takes the signification 
of lamb, or the pastures where the lambs 
feed, and the transition from the idea of 
such a harmless creature to that of ram 
would seem too violent to he tolerated. 
There cannot be a doubt that the word 
is here to be taken in the signification 
of arietcs, a battcrintj-ram, or long log of 
wood, so called because one of the ends 
was armed with a mass of heavy metal 
in the shape of a ram s head. Such 
machines, cither carried by soldiers or 
suspended by ropes or chains, were 
driven with force against the walls of 
a fortified city, so as to make a breach 
in them, or batter them down. 

3. The rOT9 i f fl j ing-pan of iron, from 
the rust which it contracted, was a fit 
symbol of the city of Jerusalem, the 
accumulated guilt of which was now to 
be punished. The better to represent 
the city, this pan was to be surrounded 
with a raised edge of iron in the shape 
of a wall. ^X^l rP3 , house of Israel, 
as occurring in this verse, is to be dis 
tinguished as to signification from the 
same phrase as used in the following 
verses. Here it is employed to denote 
the Hebrews generally ; there, in contra 
distinction from rn fT 1 . rP3 , house of 
Judah, to denote the ten tribes which 
separated in the time of Rehoboam. 

4-6. The supposition, broached by 
Jarchi and adopted by Ilitzig, that the 
left side was designed to be symbolical 
of the northern kingdom, and the right 

of the southern, because geographically 
the localities which they occupied lay in 
these directions, according to the Orien 
tal mode of considering the east to be 
in front, is more fanciful than real. Lit 
tle more tenable is the opinion of Grotius, . 
that the sides were purposely chosen to 
point out the dignity of the two tribes 
of Judah and Benjamin as superior to 
those which formed the northern king 
dom. I agree with the opinion of Steud- 
lin and IlJivernick, that no importance 
is to be attached to the selection. 

There are some chronological difficul 
ties attaching to a literal or historical 
computation of the periods here specified. 
The most tenable seem the calculations 
of Eichhorn, Michaclis, Scholx, Rosen- 
miiller, Maurcr, and others, who date, in 
the one case, from the separation of the 
ten tribes in the reign of Jeroboam, and 
in the other, from the reformation effect 
ed by Josiah, 390 and 40 being used as 
the nearest round numbers. It has in 
deed been objected that the prophet is 
here treating, not of the time during 
which the sins were committed, but that 
during which the people were bearing 
the punishment inflicted on account of 
them ; but a designed correspondence 
between the term of punishment and the 
season of transgression is not infrequent 
in Scripture. See especially Numb. xiv. 
34. As many years as the people had 
continued in idolatry, so many days the 
prophet was in symbolic action to bear 

CHAP. IV. 6-0.] 



second time upon thy right side, and bear the iniquity of the house 
of Judah, forty days ; a day for a year have I appointed thee. 
And thou shalt direct thy face towards the siege of Jerusalem, 
and thou shalt uncover thine arm and prophesy against it. And, 
behold. I will lay cords upon thee, and thou shalt not turn thee 
from one side to another, until thou hast finished the days of thy 
siege. And thou, take for thyself wheat, and barley, and beans, 
and lentiles, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel, 
and make thee bread of them for the number of the days which 
thou shalt be lying upon thy side, three hundred and ninety 

their chastisement. The opinion recently 
adopted by Hitzig, Ewald, and Fairbairn, 
and which was already entertained by 
the Rabbins in the time of Jerome, that 
the periods are to be considered analogi 
cally, as corresponding to the time in 
which the Israelitish people were absent 
from their own land, and suffered in 
Egypt and in the wilderness, is open to 
the objection that in order to make the 
periods tally, the number 40, which rep 
resents the years of wandering in the 
desert, needs to be also reckoned along 
with the 390 to make up the 430 years, 
mentioned in Exod. xii. 40,41 ; in addi 
tion to which it must be remembered that 
a comparison of Gen. xv. 16, Exod. vi. 
16-20, and Gal. iii. 17, leads to the idea 
that the 430 years so reckoned included 
the sojourn of the patriarchs in Canaan 
as well as the detention of their posterity 
in the house of bondage. The Hebrew 
phrase "pS X : O3 , to bear iniquity, uni 
formly means, to suffer punishment on 
account of iniquity. Sin being conceived 
of by the Orientals as a burden, the idea 
of bearing it was naturally suggested ; 
and, being transferred to its punishment, 
it consequently acquired that of suffering 
it. By C51?. "\3iy , ver. 5. we are to un 
derstand t/te years of their punishment on 
account of iniquity. There is no neces 
sity to press the application of these 
arithmetical symbols to the exact dura 
tion of the punishment which they fore 
shadowed : all attempts to do so have 
proved futile. The very disproportionate 

inequality of the periods during which 
the punishment of the two divisions of 
the Hebrew people was to last must not 
be considered as suggesting the idea 
that the amount of guilt contracted by 
Judah was small compared with that 
contracted by Israel, which would be in 
flat contradiction of the representations 
made by the prophet, chap. xvi. 44-59 ; 
for though the ten tribes were much 
longer in a state of actual captivity than 
the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, 
yet the sufferings of the latter were 
greatly aggravated by the hardships to 
which they had to submit during the 
siege of Jerusalem, and the cruelties 
exercised upon them by the Chaldeans 
after that event. 

7. To set forth the certainty of the 
siege, and the preparedness of the enemy 
to conduct it, the prophet is commanded 
to direct his face against the city ; and, 
as the Orientals usually do when about 
to engage in any undertaking, to tuck 
up the sleeve of his right arm that he 
might be ready for action. In this atti 
tude he was to deliver his prophecy. 
Comp. Isa. Iii. 10. 

8. Though the siege, specified verses 
1-3, is to be taken literally of that of 
Jerusalem, yet it is here employed in a 
more extended signification, to denote 
the entire calamity that had befallen, 
and was yet to befall, the Hebrew people. 
To set forth their helpless condition, and 
the impossibility of their being able by 
any efforts of their own to recover them- 



[CnAP. IV. 9-14. 

10 days thou sbalt cat thereof. And thy food which thou shalt 
eat by weight, twenty shekels a day, from time to time thou 

11 shalt eat it. Thou shalt also drink water by measure, the sixth 

12 part of a hin, from time to time thou shalt drink. And thou 
shalt eat it as barley cakes, and with dung that cometh out of 

13 man thou shalt bake it in their sight. And Jehovah said : Thus 
shall the children of Israel eat their polluted bread among the 

14 heathen, whither I will drive them. Then I said, Ah, Lord 
Jehovah ! behold, my soul hath not been polluted, nor have I 
eaten that which hath died of itself, or been torn in pieces, from 
my youth until now ; neither hath there entered into my mouth 

selves, the prophet is informed that he 
should be prevented, by a divine influence 
resting- upon him, from moving from 
one side to the other during the periods 
of his symbolical punishment. 

9-13. As the basis of the direction 
here given, compare Lev. xxvi. 26. 
Graphically as the circumstances of the 
inhabitants of Jerusalem during the 
siege may be considered as depicted in 
these verses, yet the description is ob 
viously intended to include those of the 
captives, in which, absent from the holy 
and plenteous land, they should be re 
duced to want in the midst of the idola 
trous pollutions of the heathen. 

9. Ezekiel was to take six different 
kinds of grain, better and worse as it 
respects quality, and mixing them all 
together, to prepare bread of them. 
Instead of flour simply, which was used 
for baking more delicate cakes, Gen. 
xviii. 6, the Hebrews should have to 
content themselves with such coarse 
bread, as only the poorest would submit 
to eat. The three hundred and ninety 
dw/s were doubtless, as the larger num 
ber, intended to include both periods, as 
we may infer from what is said, verses 
16, 17 ; so that we are not, with Maurcr, 
to conclude, that the omission of the 
forty was per Mivionem. 

10, 11. When cities are reduced to 
straits by all supplies from without being 
cut off by the besieging army, it is cus 
tomary to place the inhabitants upon 

short allowance. The quantity both 
of bread and water here specified was 
the smallest conceivable for the bare sus 
tenance of life. The shekel being only 
the weight of about ten ounces, and the 
sixth part of a hin, a pint and a half 
English measure, the pressure must have 
been extreme. The scarcity would be 
so great that the utmost management 
would be required in order to make 
the stinted quantity of provisions hold 

12, 13. To express the aggravation of 
the miserable circumstances of the He 
brews, they are represented as reduced 
to the necessity of using human excre 
ments as fuel for the purpose of baking 
their bread. It is customary with the 
Arabs and Tatars to this day, as it is in 
some parts of Europe where there is a 
destitution of wood or turf, to make nso 
of the dried dung of cattle for this pur 
pose, but we can only conceive of the 
case here resorted to as one of the most 
extreme necessity. The very allusion 
was calculated to produce feelings of the 
utmost disgust, which we find the com 
mand actually did produce in the mind 
of Ezckiel, ver. 14. As the design of 
the command only had for its object the 
production of these nauseous feelings, 
and was not intended to be actually 
complied with, all ground for the objec 
tion of the infidel is removed. 

14. Ezekiel having been a priest had 
been accustomed to the strictest absti- 

CHAP. V. 1.] 



15 abominable flesh. Then he said unto me: Behold, I have 
appointed thee cow s dung instead of man s dung, and thou shalt 
bake thy bread therewith. 

1 6 And he said unto me : Son of man, behold, I will break the staff 

of bread in Jerusalem, and they shall eat bread by weight and 
with carefulness, and water by measure and with astonishment 

17 they shall drink. To the end that they may lack bread and 
water, and be astonished one with another, and pine away in 
their iniquity. 

ncnce from everything inconsistent with 
the legal enactments relative to external 
purity. To this circumstance he here 
appeals as an argument why he should 
be relieved from the disagreeable neces 
sity that had been imposed upon him. 
Compare the striking parallel, Acts x. 
13, 14. Neither the prophet nor the 
apostle could reconcile the mandate with 
the express prohibitions of the ceremo 
nial law. By S1"S 1 wSl , abominable flesh, 
is meant meat that stank from putridity. 
Flesh of animals that had been killed 
three days was strictly prohibited by the 
law to be eaten (Lev. vii. 17, 18; xix. 
6, 7). LXX. Kpeas f<a\ov. 

15. The concession made to relieve 
the feelings of the prophet indicated the 
divine disposition to mitigate the pun 
ishment of the captive Hebrews. The 
ashes of animal excrements in which 
bread has been baked having been care 
fully removed, and the external crust 

only having been brought into contact 
with them, the interior is left entirely 
free from everything disagreeable to the 
taste. Dr. Robinson, describing a scene 
on his journey to Nabulus, says : " The 
men were baking a large, round, flat 
cake of bread, in the embers of a fire of 
camel s and cow dung. Taking it out 
when done, they brushed off the ashes, 
and divided it among the party, offering 
us also a portion. I tasted it, and found 
it quite as good as the common bread of 
the country " (Researches, vol. iii. p. 
76). The teaching of the passage is, that 
in wrath God remembers mercy; that 
those to whom afflictions arc sanctified, 
and who turn to him with their whole 
heart, shall obtain mercy, and be deliv 
ered out of all their troubles. 

16, 17. The prophet is here furnished 
with a further illustration of the neces 
sitous condition to which their sins 
should reduce his countrymen. 


Ezokiel is commanded to cut off the hair of his head and beard, 1; to burn a third part of 
it with fire, to cut another third part with a sword, and to scatter the remaining third 
to the winds of heaven, 2; of this last portion, however, he was to reserve a small quan 
tity in his girdle, but even of it he was to cast part into the fire, 3, 4. The import of 
these symbolical actions is next pointed out, and the reasons are assigned why the Jews 
were to be so severely dealt with, 5-11. A further explanation of the symbols is given, 12 ; 
together with a description of the heavy calamities of which they were significant, 13-17. 

1 MOREOVER thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, a barber s 
razor let there be taken to thee, and cause it to pass upon thy 



[CHAP. V. 1-6. 

head, and upon thy beard, and take to thee weighing scales and 

2 divide the hair. A third part thou shalt cause to pass through 
the fire in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are 
fulfilled : then thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it 
with a knife, and a third part thou shalt scatter to the wind, and 

3 I will draw out a sword after them. Thou shalt also take a 

4 few of them in number, and bind them in thy skirts. Then 
take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and 
burn them in the fire ; from it shall fire go forth into all the 

5 house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : This is Jeru 
salem : I have placed her in the midst of the nations and of the 

1. 2"H is used in the Hebrew Scrip 
tures not only to denote the sword, but 
also any other sharp-edged instrument 
for cutting with, just as "^n is used 
both of a penknife and a razor. Though 
with great propriety the latter is men 
tioned in reference to the shaving of the 
hair, there is an equal propriety in em 
ploying the term sword in reference to 
the use of that weapon by the Chaldeans. 
That both arc here identified, seems the 
most natural construction of the sense. 
To indicate the just discrimination to be 
employed by Jehovah in the punishment 
of his rebellious people, the prophet is 
further commanded to wcigli out the 
hair into several portions. The priests 
having been prohibited from shaving, 
(Lev. xxi. 5), the command given to 
Exekicl on the present occasion must 
have appeared peculiarly severe ; but he 
was thereby taught, and the people 
through him, that the ceremonial must 
give place to the moral. That Ezekiel 
here represented the Hebrew people there 
cannot be a doubt, but Hitzig refines 
too much when he interprets his head 
of Jerusalem, as the capital. The suftix 
in CPJ^in refers to the hairs, understood. 

2. When the prophet had completed 
the term of his symbolical siege he was 
to burn a third part of the hair which 
he had cut off, in the midst of the pan 
employed as a symbol of the siege. By 
this was intimated that a portion of the 
inhabitants should he destroyed by fire 

and famine during that awful calamity. 
Comp. vcr. 12. Those who were cut 
off by the Chaldeans around the city are 
next described, and then the hopeless 
condition of the fugitives is depicted. 

3, 4. Ct ; p is used loosely for CfTO 
The few here referred to were not re 
served to be saved from punishment, as 
the words might at first sight seem to 
indicate, but to have that punishment 
inilictcd upon them. They were to un 
dergo a further fiery trial. The calamity 
was to be total. It was to extend to the 
whole posterity of Jacob. 

5, G. A definite application of the 
symbol. A more favorable situation as 
the centre of religious unity and moral 
influence could not have been selected 
than Jerusalem. Like a central sun, 
she was destined to radiate the light of 
true religion over three continents. But 
instead of being faithful to her vocation, 
she adopted the idolatrous practices of 
the surrounding nations, and thereby 
incurred the displeasure of her covenant 
God. "^P}.? is to be regarded as the 
future apocopated of i" 1 "? > r <hd- 
Compare "JS^ , Judges xv. 4 ; "^B*l , 
Ps. cv. 24. riX !Vra , to nbf-l nr/ainst, 
affords a sense equally pregnant with 
that derived by Jarchi, DC Wctte, and 
others from "i TS , to change. Compare 
pn PP " I S~~X rn S , to relx-l against the 
command of Jehovah, 1 Sam. xii. 15. 
The preposition in rc^ ib indicates 
quality, state, or condition. The He- 

CHAP. V. 6-10.] 




countries round about her. But she hath wickedly rebelled 
against my judgments more than the heathen, and my statutes 
more than the countries which are around her ; for they have 
despised my judgments, and as for my statutes they have not 
walked in them. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah : 
Because ye have been more outrageous than the heathen which 
are round about you ; ye have not walked in my statutes, and 
my judgments ye have not practised, but have done according 
to the judgments of the heathen that are round about you : 
Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Behold, I, even I, am 
against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee 
in the sight of the nations. And I will do in thee what I have 
not done, nor will I do the like any more, on account of all 
thine abominations. Therefore the fathers shall eat the children 
in the midst of thee, and the children shall eat their fathers, and 

brews had plunged themselves, by their 
rebellions against the laws of Jehovah, 
into circumstances of wickedness more 
aggravated than those of their surround 
ing neighbors in Syria, Egypt, or Baby 
lon. The nominative to IDX^ and 
Jcbil is not the heathen, spoken of im 
mediately before, but the inhabitants of 
Jerusalem, understood. 

7. CCp S ! is not, after Aquil., the 
Peshito Syriac, and Ewald, to be read as 
if pointed D:r2!l, the Niphal of !~0i2, 
to number the meaning, because ye were 
numbered among the Jteathen, not being 
suitable to the connection ; but is to be 
taken as an anomalous form for Cllisri , 
the Infinitive in Kal of <T2H , to tumul- 
tuate, rage, be enraged, outraqeous. The 
word is here used in this last significa 
tion, to denote the mad and unbridled 
riotousness with which the Jewish people 
ran after their idols. They set no 
bounds to the exorbitancies which they 
committed, and surpassed in crime the 
heathen around them. X^ 1 , before 
Dribs , at the end of the verse is omitted 
in thirty of Kennicott and DC Rossi s 
MSS., primarily in five more, in the 
Soncin. and Brixian editions, in the 
Syriac, and in twenty-four codices of the 
Vulg. ; and appears to have originated 

with some copyist who supposed that 
the negative expressed just before was 
to be repeated here. The retention of 
it would make the Lord declare what 
was contrary to fact and to what is ex 
pressly declared chap. xi. 12. Suppos 
ing, with Rosenmiiller and Haverniek, 
the negative to have been the original 
reading, the only tolerable interpretation 
would be, that the Jews had not remained 
faithful to their covenant God as the 
pagans around them had been to their 

9. What is here threatened cannot be 
absolutely explained of the divine deal 
ings with the Jews in the time of the 
prophet, since there is every reason to 
believe that the sufferings of the inhabi 
tants of Jerusalem when besieged by 
Titus were still more dreadful than those 
inflicted by Nebuchadnezzar, but is to be 
interpreted of them as compared with 
other nations. They were treated with 
a severity such as no other people, 
either before or after, has experienced. 
As they had been unparalleled in wick 
edness, so they should be in punishment. 
Hiivernick s attempt to combine both 
destructions is very unsatisfactory. 

10. Compare Lev. xxvi. 29 ; Dcut. 
xxviii. 53. To these passages in the 



[CHAP. V. 10-14. 

I will execute judgments in thee, and scatter the whole remnant 

11 of thee to every wind. Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord 
Jehovah : Surely because thou hast polluted my sanctuary with 
all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, there 
fore 1 also will cut thee off, neither will mine eye spare, nor 

12 will I have pity. A third part of thee shall die with the pesti 
lence, and with the famine they shall be consumed in the midst 
of thee ; and a third part shall fall by the sword round about 
thee ; and a third part I will scatter to every wind, and I will 

13 draw out the sword after them. Thus shall mine anger be 
spent, and I will cause my fury to rest on them, and comfort 
myself; and they shall know that I, Jehovah, have spoken in 

14 my jealousy, when I have spent my fury on them. Moreover 
I will deliver thee over to desolation and reproach among the 
nations that are round about thee, in the sight of every one that 

15 passe th by. And it shall be for a reproach and a reviling, an 
example and an astonishment to the nations that are round 
about thee, when I execute judgments in thee in anger and in 

Pentateuch there is here an obvious 
reference, with the aggravating addition 
of the sons eating their fathers. 

11. "^S ^n , as / live, is a formula of 
swearing employed by Jehovah when 
about to introduce a declaration of pecu 
liar solemnity or importance. It pledges 
the existence of the ever-living God for 
the certainty of the event. Than the 
life of God, which includes his necessary 
and eternal self-existence, it is impossible 
to conceive of a more sublime or power 
fully influential idea. The culminating 
point of the daring wickedness of the 
Jews was their desecration of the holy 
habitation of Jehovah by introducing 
idolatrous worship into it. The idols 
which they thus introduced are desig 
nated C it p J , dttcstuble. objects, from 
Y^"f " ^ filthy, polluted, abominable 
and P Oy in , the same. Instead of 
~^?->. / will withdraw or diminish, the 
reading 2H5X , 1 will cut down, cut off, is 
found in six MSS., it has originally 
been the reading of five more, and is 
that of one by correction. It is sup 
ported by all the ancient versions, better 

suits the following connection, and has 
more emphasis. 

12. God now declares in plain terms 
what was intended by the symbolical 
treatment of the hair. A third part of 
the inhabitants of Jerusalem were to 
perish by pestilence and famine during 
the siege, another third part were to be 
cut off by the Chaldean army in the 
surrounding country while attempting 
to escape, and the remaining third were 
to be scattered in every direction by the 
armed foe. Wherever they fled they 
should find their enemies in possession, 
and not be able to escape their sword. 

13. The Jews should experience no 
relief or alleviation with respect to the 
punishments to be inflicted upon them. 
>n~r!iFt , (or TTinSPil , jn Ilithpael. 

14. "~ D~nb:t nai_nb form an ono 
matopoeia. The surrounding idolaters, 
whose practices they had adopted, instead 
of affording them any comfort or aid, 
would only exult at their calamities. 
For C" 1 "!*;?, to the nations, ver. 15, four 
teen MSS., primarily five more, and the 
Complutcnsian Text read D^aa , among 

CHAP. VI. 1-3.] 



19 fury, even in furious rebukes ; I, Jehovah, have spoken it : When 
I shall send among them the evil arrows of famine which shall 
be for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, for famine 
I will accumulate upon you, and will break the staff of your 

17 bread : I will both send upon you famine and evil beasts, and 
they shall bereave thee ; and pestilence and blood shall pasa 
through thee ; and I will bring the sword upon thee ; I, Jehovah, 
have spoken it. 

the nations, as in vcr. 14, and thus the 
Vulg. and Arab. Instead of " 1 v" 7 tnc 
third person, at the beginning of ver. 15, 
ajl the ancient versions have read r.^tl , 
the second, which is required by the 
connection. ICI 2 , properly an instruc 
tive example, from "10^ to cliastise, correct, 
instruct by punishment ; an example held 
out for the warning of others. 

16. 32?"7 ^?n> arrows of famine, Gro- 
tius interprets of lightning, storms, lo 
custs, etc., which are prejudicial to corn, 
and thus superinduce famine ; but the 
phrase seems rather to describe the 
famine itself, with reference to the acute 
pain occasioned by hunger. 

17. A third repetition of the threaten 
ing of famine, aggravated by the addition 
of other calamities usually consequent 
on war. That i"l?^ fi^n , a collective 
for evil Iteasts, is to be taken literally, 
and not interpreted of the king of Baby 
lon and his armies, would seem moro 
suitable in the connection. ?3 J , prop 
erly means to be bereaved of children ; in 
Piel, as here, to destroy children, and 
thus render barren or desolate. In 
order more deeply to impress the minds 
of the Jews with alarming apprehensions 
of the divine judgments which were to 
be inflicted upon them, the language is 
repetitiously and variously charged. 


The prophet is directed to address himself to the inhabitants of the whole country, and 
denounce the destruction at once of the idols and the idol-worshippers, 1-7. A promise 
is then given for the comfort of those who, in the midst of their calamities, should repent 
and turn from their idolatrous practices, 8-10. By most significant actions it is indi 
cated that the threatened punishment would assuredly be inflicted to the utmost, 11-14. 

1 AND the word of Jehovah came unto|me, saying: Son of man, sot 

2 thy face against the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against 

3 them, and say : Ye mountains of Israel, hear ye the word of the 
Lord Jehovah : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah to the mountains 

1-3. By " the mountains of Israel," 
etc., we arc not to understand those of 
Ephraim exclusively, but those of the 
country of Palestine generally, in which 
idolatry had abounded. They are per 
sonified in order to give greater effect to 

the discourse. Although the Babylo 
nians were themselves idolaters, and 
there was in many respects an affinity 
between their idol-worship and that of 
the Hebrews who had borrowed it from 
them, yet such should be the strength of 



[CHAP. VI. 1-9. 

and to the hills, to the channels and to the valleys, Behold, I, 
even I, bring a sword against you, and I will destroy your high 
places. And your altars shall be desolate, and your images 
shall be broken, and I will cast down your slain before your 
idols. And I will lay the carcases of the children of Israel 
before their idols, and will scatter your bones round about your 
altars. In all your dwelling-places the cities shall be laid waste 
and the high places shall be desolate, in order that your altars 
may be laid waste and made desolate, and your dung-gods may 
be broken and cease, and your solar images may be cut down, 
and your works destroyed. And the slain shall fall in the midst 
of you, and ye shall know that I am Jehovah. Yet will I reserve 
a remnant, that ye may have those who escape the sword among 
the nations, when ye shall be scattered in the countries. And 
those of you that escape shall remember me in the nations 
whither they shall be carried captives, when I break their whor- 
ish heart, which hath departed from me, and their eyes which 

hostile feeling by which the invading 
army would be actuated, and such their 
cupidity for the gold and silver with which 
the wooden idols were covered, that they 
would hew them down, and involve them 
and their worshippers in one common 
destruction. The C"JT"EX were channels, 
running through and fertilizing the val 
leys, w Inch abounded in groves favorable 
for the worship of Astartc. The term 
is parallel with rflX^jJ , and has pretty 
much the same signification. The two 
terms correspond, just as the preceding 
C^rt and ~ "23 do. They are com 
bined, as synonymes frequently are in 
Hebrew, for the sake of emphasis. The 
collocation N n 3^ h ?X "OH is unusual. 
The proper form is ^il? ^ITl, but 
fcra-C "OX *tn j s also admissible, 

4. For CZ"3"Sn , your solar pillars, see 
on Isa. xvii. 8 ; and compare 2 Chron. 
xxxiv. 4, 7. To expose the filthy char 
acter of the idols, and excite a loathing 
of them, they are called n^p SS, dung 
gods. Compare the reading Be\e0ouA, 
Matt. xii. 24. The term is frequently 
used by Ezekiel, but it occurs also in the 
Pentateuch and other Historical Books. 
Havernick s rendering, stone-masses, is 

not sustained by his attempt to establish 
another derivation. 

5. To express the futility of all idol- 
confidences, and the ruin in which they 
would involve those who cherished them, 
the bones of the idolaters are represented 
as scattered around their altars. 

6. The destruction that was to over 
take the places of idol-worship was to be 
complete. The idols are here said to be 
the " works " of the Hebrews, because 
they were fabricated by their hands. 

8-10. Those who might escape the 
destructive havoc erlected by the invad 
ing foe, and be preserved as captives 
among the nations, should there be 
brought to repentance and self-abhor 
rence, when they reflected upon the way 
in which they had provoked their cove 
nant (]od. 

9. "T;">2w2 is not here passive, but 
reflexive in signification : when 1 have 
broken, or when 1 shall have broken for 
myself, when I have produced such a 
change in their idolatrous dispositions 
as shall induce them to renounce their 
idols and return to my worship and 
service. Though at first sight it may 
seem less appropriate to apeak of break- 

CHAP. VI. 9-14.] 



have gone a whoring after their dung-gods, and th*y shall loathe 
themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have 

10 committed in all their abominations. And they shall know that 
I am Jehovah : it is not in vain I have said that I would inflict 

1 1 this calamity upon them. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Smite 
with thy hand, and stamp with thy foot, and say : Alas, for all 
the evil abominations of the house of Israel, for they shall fall 

12 by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence. He that is 
far off shall die of the pestilence, and he that is near shall fall 
by the sword, and he that is left arid is besieged shall die by 

13 the famine, and I will exhaust my fury on them. And they 
shall know that I am Jehovah, when their slain shall be in the 
midst of their dung-gods round about their altars, on every high 
hill, on all the tops of the mountains, and under every green 
tree, and under every thick oak, in the place where they offered 

ing the " eyes " than of breaking the 
heart, yet when we consider the stubborn 
looks of the Hebrews, and that the same 
verb is applied to the destruction of 
pride (Lev. xxvi. 19), there is nothing 
incongruous in such construction. 1I3p3 
is, according to the punctuation, the 
Niphal of a:?!? , as 1203 of =3D ; but 
as this root occurs nowhere else in the 
Hebrew Bible, it is better to reject the 
Dagesh forte, and refer the verb to 13 ip 
which is frequently used in the sense 
of loathing, or regarding anything with 
disgust. Ci"]"S2 is construed by some 
with cn*3"ka preceding, and the prophet 
is supposed to mean that the Jews should 
loathe themselves in the very presence 
of their idols ; but as the same form oc 
curs chaps, xx. 43, xxxvi. 31, it is rather 
to be taken as designed to give force to 
the expression of self-abhorrence, the 
idea of which was conveyed by 13*1 p 
They should have a vivid perception of 
their wickedness; the abhorrent image 
of themselves, as the perpetrators of it, 
should stare them in the very face. In 
the passages just quoted our translators, 
considering the phrase to be equivalent 
to C3"! n 23 render : in your own s!r//it. 
FlinrrpX is equivalent to P 1 !" 1 ^ ^ , 
on account of the evils. 

10. h "3^ here, as frequently, signifies 
to know by experience. 

11. It was not uncommon for the 
prophets to employ violent gesticulations 
while announcing alarming declarations 
of the divine will. MX , ah! alas! an 
onomatopoetic, like the corresponding 

Arabic ^,\ , used by the Orientals to 

express deep emotions of grief. The 
prophet, foreseeing the awful judgments 
which were coming upon his people in 
punishment of their atrocious wicked 
ness, was thus to give expression to the 
keen feelings which were pent up in his 
breast, in order more powerfully to work 
upon the minds of his hearers. What 
he exhibited was emblematical of the 
light in which they were regarded by 
Jehovah. Compare xxi. 12, 14. 

12. I^Sni -ixrsni is descriptive of 
those Jews who were not carried away 
into captivity, or who had not made 
their escape into the country, but were 
left to suffer all the calamities of the 
siege. For "I12H , in the sense ofbaieged, 
see my comment on Isa. i. 8. I cannot 
find, with Havernick, that the term de 
rives any light from the ancient prover 
bial expression: 2 Tri IIS?. 

14. tt2^ firs J/a beautiful paro- 

42 E Z E K I E L . [CHAP. VII. 2-4. 

14 sweet incense to all their dung-gods. And I will stretch forth 
my hand against them, and will make the land more waste and 
desolate than the desert of Diblah in all their dwelling-places ; 
and they shall know that I am Jehovah. 

nomasia, from the same root M 15 , to be other form for the Dual D^pblM , Dilla- 

laid waste. It is in frequent use by our t/iaim, the name of a city in the country 

prophet. I agree with Ilaverniek and of Moab (Numb, xxxiii. 4G ; Jer. xlviii. 

Maurcr, that nnba*l , DMrfAaA, is not, 2->). That Diblah should be a noun 

with Kimchi, Miehaelis, Gcsenius, and common, and not a proper name, seems 

llitzig, to be exchanged for !~ir33^ , Rib- less likely. I am surprised that Ilavcr- 

lathah. Such conjecture is unsupported niek should adopt theoppositc view, and 

either by MS. authority or by that of any rendering the term by (Jest met ion, sup- 

of the ancient versions. That the wil- pose Babylon to be meant. What idea 

derness of Arabia Deserta, to the east could the Jews possibly attach to the 

and south of the Dead Sea, so well words with such a reference ? The pre- 

known, and so well fitted to be employed positive E in " ?*]? : r I take to be com- 

for comparison, is here intended, appears parative, as it is properly rendered in 

most probable, in which case we may our common version, 
suppose that " ? ! > Diblah, is only an- 


The prophet announces the speedy ruin of the Jewish state, 1-15; the penitent reformation 
of a remnant, 10-19; the destruction of the temple, which the Jews had polluted with 
their idols, 20-22. lie is commanded to make a chain, thereby symbolizing the captiv 
ity that should follow the utter destruction of the city and the theocratic establishment, 

In the former half of the chapter the language is marked by an abruptness and a repe- 
titiousness which strongly indicate the suddenness and certainty of the approaching 

1 AND the word of Jehovah came unto me saying : And thou, son 

2 of man, thus saith the Lord Jehovah : There is an end to the 
land of Israel ; the end is come, upon the four corners of the 

3 land. Now the end is upon thee, and I will send mine anger 
upon thee, and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and 

4 will lay upon thee all thine abominations. And mine eye shall 
not spare thee, neither will I have pity, but will recompense thy 
ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of 

2, 3. yi~ is properly separated from article to the word Cj^Fi), to mark the 

what follows by Athnach. The prophet event as that which had been determined 

is first to express himself indefinitely in the divine counsel, and definitely pre- 

with respect to the termination of the dieted by the prophets. 

Jewish state, and then by prefixing the 4. rviSJ in , abominations, by mcton- 

CHAP. VII. 4-10] 



5 thee, and ye shall know that I am Jehovah. Thus saith the 
Lord Jehovah : A calamity, an only calamity ; behold, it is 

6 come. An end is come, the end is come ; it waketh up against 

7 thee ; behold it is come. The crown is come against thee, O 
inhabitant of the land ; the time is come ; the day of tumult is 

8 come, and not the joyous shout of the mountains. Now speedily 
will I pour out my fury upon thee, and exhaust mine anger on 
thee, and judge thee according to thy ways ; yea, I will render 

9 unto thee all thine abominations. And mine eye shall not 
spare, neither will I have pity ; according to thy ways I will 
render unto thee ; and thine abominations shall be in the midst 
of thee, and ye shall know that I am Jehovah that smiteth. 

10 Behold the day, behold, it is come, the crown is gone forth, the 

ymy of the cause for the effect, the pun 
ishments inflicted on account of the 
abominable idolatries in which the Jews 
had indulged. In these punishments, 
the idolatries in all their hateful forms 
might be regarded as presenting them 
selves to the view of those who had been 
guilty of them. 

5. The threatened calamity is an 
nounced as rnN , one, only, singular, the 
only one of its kind, because of its unex 
ampled severity. Comp. Song vi. 9, and 

the Arab. JL^ t J I * -3 , the only day, a 

time distinguished on account of its un 
usual calamity. "1HX , after, though the 
reading of upwards of twenty-three MSS. 
and adopted in nine printed editions, is 
less entitled to regard. 

6. A repetition of the language em 
ployed ver. 3. The addition of i"i|"l > 
behold, in this and the preceding verse, 
gives emphasis to the announcements. 

7. The prophet commences this verse 
with ""^S , the verb with which he had 
concluded the last. Its frequent repeti 
tion was calculated to strike terror into 
the minds of the Jews. Various inter 
pretations have been given of ""n^BX . 
Our translators appear to have adopted 
the idea of morning from the Syriae and 
Chaldce, and from the strikingly parallel 
passage Joel ii. 2, where, however, the 
Hebrew is "lrTC3 Gesenius, Maurer, 

and others : the circle comes to thee ; 
meaning, it is now thy turn to be pun 
ished. From the fact, that the same 
word, written without the Yod, occurs 
as parallel with i^^^j sceptre, ver. 10, 
I regard the signification to be crown, i.e. 
the crowned one = Nebuchadnezzar. The 
powerful and victorious monarch had 
already come forth from his residence, 
and would speedily inflict the predicted 
judgments on the Jews. For this sig 
nification of the term see my Comment, 
on Isa. xxviii. 5. The idea of conqueror 

inheres in the cognate Arab, yo p , 

vicit, superavit, victoriam rcportavit. D" ls fl 
{TOIirra should, according to rule, have 
been i"ra a i"iSn ST 1 or simply H^S iTa C1" 1 
but the awful period of judgment was so 
prominently in the mind of the prophet 
that more emphatically to mark it, ho 
places the article before the former of 
the two nouns. 1ft is a contracted form 
of *nr? which is otherwise used of the 
joyous shout of the vintagers, but hero 
of that of idolatrous feasts, celebrated on 
the mountains in honor of the false gods. 
Instead, nothing was to be heard but 
the sounds of tumult and confusion oc 
casioned by the fury of the enemy. 

8, 9. A repetition of verses 3 and 4. 

10. Here, as observed on ver. 7, F>~ 4 
crown, and ftE B rod or scrj>trc, are par 
allel, and designate the king of Babylon. 



[CHAP. VII. 10-14. 

11 sceptre flourisheth, pride hath budded. Violence hath risen up 
for a rod of wickedness ; there shall be none of them, neither of 
their multitude, nor of their substance ; neither shall there be any 

12 Availing for them. The time is come, the day hath approached; 
let not the buyer rejoice, and let not the seller grieve, for fury 

13 shall be to all her multitude. For the seller shall not return to 
that which is sold, though they were yet alive ; for the vision is 
for the whole multitude of her ; one shall not return, nor shall 

14 any man strengthen his life by his iniquity. Blow ye with a 
blast, and make all ready ; yet none goeth to the battle, for my 

As the latter term signifies the rod or 
instrument of punishment, as well as 
the badge of royalty, it has singular 
force in this connection. Compare Isa. 
x. 5. The blossoming and budding arc 
to be referred to the imposing and inso 
lent bearing of the conqueror and his 
army. That "(TIT , pride, is to be referred 
to the king of Babylou, compare Jer. 1. 
31, 32. This construction is more suit 
able to the connection than that adopted 
by Jerome and others, which would refer 
the term to the pride of the Jews. 

11. By " ^~ " 1 ^"? is meant the rod 
for the punishment of wickedness, i.e. of 
the idolatry of the Jews. Compare 
Zcch. v. 8. That rod was invested with 
irresistible power, and should come down 
upon them with awful violence. Con 
siderable obscurity attaches to the follow 
ing striking paronomasia : X-1. C<T5 && 

E^T-Tvy-? ^l "r^^v ^ lic niast l" ol >- 
able rendering is that given by Gcseiiius : 
There shall remain nothing of them, neither 
of their iitiiltitndc, nor of tlieir wealth, tak 
ing ~H or CH in the last word to be an 
unusual form, equivalent to "I ^^j and 
adopted for the sake of the paronomasia. 

xb is used as ,.wO , the negative abso 
lute in Arabic, in the sense of nothing of. 
?Ti3 > as interpreted by Gesenius to sig 
nify something splendid, winds up the 
description very tamely. I prefer the 
sense of wailing as given in our common 
version from the Jewish interpreters, 
who derive the noun from the root f>n , 

to bewail, lament. The prophet was to 
announce the universally sweeping con 
sequences of the Chaldean conquest of 
Jerusalem. There should be none left 
to bewail the slain and the captives. 
Compare Jer. xvi. 4-7. 

12, 13. A complete change was to 
take place in the affairs of life. The 
buyer of a portion of land should have 
no ground for self-congratulation on 
account of the bargain he had made, 
nor the seller for regret on account of 
what he had parted with ; they were to 
be deprived of all their property, or 
removed to a distant country, and thus 
be denied the privilege of recovering 
their possessions in the year of jubilee 
(Lev. xxv. 13). Though they might 
be spared in life till the return of that 
year, it would avail them nothing. Nor 
was any one to imagine that while he 
emboldened himself in his iniquity, he 
could possibly prosper. Instead of" " ? > 
wrath, ver. 12, we have "pTH , vision, 
forming a paronomasia with it, vcr. 13. 
Since the former word occurs again in 
the same sentence repeated ver. 14, there 
is less reason to suspect an error of tran 
scription, however much the words re 
semble each other. 

14. So completely disheartened should 
be the inhabitants of Judea, that none 
should be found with sufficient courage 
to obey the summons to encounter the 
Chaldeans. The words ?l~r3 11 pn 
so correspond to 1"i?n I ^pna Jer. vi. 1, 
that some have supposed that Ezekiel 

CHAP. VIII. 14-22.] 



15 wrath is against all her multitude. The sword is without, and 
the pestilence and the famine within ; he that is in the field shall 
die by the sword, and him that is in the city the pestilence and the 

16 famine shall devour. But those of them that escape shall escape, 
and be upon the mountains as doves of the valleys, all of them 

17 mourning, every one for his iniquity. All hands shall be feeble, 

18 and all knees shall flow like water. And they shall gird them 
selves with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them, and shame 

19 shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads. They 
shall cast away their silver into the streets, and their gold shall 
be removed ; their silver and their gold shall not be able to 
deliver them in the day of Jehovah s indignation : they shall not 

satisfy their souls nor fill their bowels, because it was the stum- 

20 bling-block of their iniquity. And as to their beautiful orna 
ment, it was placed for glory, but they set up their abominations 

borrowed them from his brother prophet. 
Whatever there may be in this, it is 
doubtful whether 2PPP is, as there, to 
be taken as the name of a place, or 
whether it is not rather to be regarded 
as the infinitive used substantively, de 
noting a blast. I incline to the latter 

15. No security should anywhere be 
found. Whether in the open country, 
or in the fortified city, the Jews should 
be equally exposed to disaster. There 
is a striking analogy between the descrip 
tion here given of the circumstances of 
the Jews at the time of the Chaldean 
invasion, and that given by our Lord of 
the invasion by thellomans (Matt. xxiv. 

1 6. However universal the havoc made 
by the enemy might be, as predicted in 
the preceding verses, a few would escape 
to the clefts of the mountains, and there 
find safety. Timid as doves frightened 
from their peaceful valleys (compare Ps. 
xi. 1), and having time for reflection, 
they should sincerely repent of the sius 
which had brought such calamities upon 
their city and nation, each one specially 
filled with sorrow on account of his own 

17-19. The comparison to water has 

reference to its gentle flow, without any 
power of resistance. It is emblematical 
of extreme weakness (Josh. vii. 5 ; Ps. 
xxii. 15). The 3 of comparison is cllip- 
tically omitted. The prophet here re 
verts to his countrymen generally, and 
depicts their disconsolate and bewildered 
condition when attacked by the Chal 
deans. To express this more forcibly, 
they are described as appearing with 
such tokens of mourning as were cus 
tomary on occasion of great national 
calamities as well as of private losses, and 
casting their silver and gold-bedecked 
idols into the streets to satisfy the cupid 
ity of the enemy, and thus divert his 
attention from themselves and their 
houses. That these idols, and not gold 
and silver simply considered, are meant, 
appears from its being added that they 
were the stumbling-block of their iniq 
uity. Their worship of these objects, 
instead of adhering to the service of the 
true God, was the cause of their ruin. 
AVhat silver or gold they might other 
wise have had, could procure them no 
sustenance, for this was not to be had at 
any price. 

20-22. Most modern commentators 
explain I" 1 "!? "^S , his beautiful onuniifnt, 
of the costly ornaments of the Jews, con- 


Z E K I L . 

[CHAP. VII. 20-27. 

and their abhorrent idols in it ; wherefore I have delivered it 

2 1 to them for removal. Yea, I have delivered it into the hand of 
the barbarians for a spoil, and to the wicked of the earth for a 

22 prey, and they shall profane it. And I will turn away my face 
from thorn, and they shall profane my secret place ; yea, tyrants 
shall enter into it and pollute it. 

23 Make the chain, for the land is filled with blood-guiltiness, and 

the city is filled with violence. 

24 And I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess 

their houses, and I will make the pomp of the strong to cease, 

25 and they shall profane their holy places. Destruction cometh, 
20 and they shall seek for peace, but there shall be none. Calamity 

upon calamity cometh, and report shall follow report ; and they 
shall seek a vision from the prophet, but the law shall perish 

sidcring the prophet to be merely enlarg 
ing on their personal privations, of which 
he had been treating ; but I agcce with 
Hengstenberg and Fairbairn that the 
temple is meant. The term h 2JZ is in 
deed frequently applied to the lund of 
the Hebrews (Dan. viii. 9 ; xi. 10, 41 ; 
Kzek. xx. 6, 15 ; Jer. iii. 19) ; but as 
the temple was the most magnificent 
object in the country, the term may 
specially be regarded as applicable to 
that splendid edifice. *pX5 , pride, in a 
good sense : majesty, glory. The temple, 
which was designed to be the residence 
of the Divine Majesty, the Jews had pol 
luted by setting up and worshipping 
idols in it. WEb , used impersonally, 
is best rendered in English by the pas 
sive, nrpipp :; crrairin , their detesta 
tions, their abominations, i.e. their most 
abhorrent idols. These they had had the 
audacity to establish as rivals of Jehovah 
in his own sacred temple. See chap, 
viii. 3-17. What confirms this view of 
the prophet s meaning is the mention 
made, ver. 22, of the i" 1 """ 1 * 1"3-? > secret 
place of Jehovah, the holy of holies, en 
trance to which was interdicted to all 
except the high priest, who was only 
allowed to go into it once a year, on the 
great day of atonement. The pronom 
inal affix PT in H3 is by cnallagc to be 

referred to "52Z. The Chaldeans would 
profane the temple by entering its most 
sacred recess, and destroying and rob 
bing its treasures. CPO , ver. 20, to 
them, the Chaldeans characterized as 
C^-Tri , the barbarians, in the following 

23. The prophet is directed to make 
a chain, which was a fit symbol of the 
captivity ; it having been customary in 
ancient times to lead away the captives 
in a row, with a chain passed on from 
the neck of one to that of another ; as 
may be seen on the plates in Wilkinson s 
Manners of the Ancient Egyptians. 
Compare Jer. xxvii. 2. F FHn with 
the Art., the well-known chain employed 
on such occasions (Jarchi, rOlZ? ^)- 
The word is derived from p~7 Arab. 

iKju . to bind, put in fMcrs. 

24. n^l j "^7 the genitive of compar 
ison, the wicked of nations, for the most 
wicked, the worst. CrpC lj^ O should 
be pointed Cn^ ^-p-:! , t/ t , .,; sanctuaries, 
i.e. the sacred compartments of the tem 
ple, and other places set apart for devo 
tion. Comn. chap. xxi. 7. 

25-27. fHSp, horrible destruction. The 
idea is taken from the appearance of the 
hedgehog pop), which, rolling itself 
up into a ball, presents a phalanx of 

CHAP. VIII. 1.] 



27 from the priest and counsel from the elders. As for the king, 
he shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with astonish 
ment, and the hands of the people of the land shall shake ; 
because of their way I will deal with them, and according to 
their deserts I will judge them ; and they shall know that I am 

spears that renders the attack of most 
animals fruitless. In the accumulation 
of calamities which should come upon 
the people, they would gladly receive 
instruction from those who had hcen 
their spiritual guides, compare Isa. xxvi. 
9 ; but these should not have it in their 
power to afford them any counsel. The 
ecclesiastical estate should be entirely 
broken up. They should go to the 
priests, not penitently to present an 
atonement for their sins, but merely to 
sec whether they, as learned men, would 
be able to suggest any means by which 

they might be delivered from the calam 
ities that had come upon them. G OpT , 
elders, the official ecclesiastical rulers of 
the people. 

27. The consternation and perplexity 
should be general, extending to all 
ranks of the people, ^"j^ c ? > the peo 
ple of the land or country, i.e. the common 
people as contrasted with the classes 
just mentioned. The O in C3i"T2 ex 
presses the ground or cause of the threat 
ened calamities. For Cri^^Q^a* , sev 
enteen MSS., perhaps one originally, 
and the Vulg. read cr.^^S ^Sl . 


This chapter contains the account of a trance in which Ezekiel was in his house on the 
Chebar, 1, 2; his conveyance in this state to Jerusalem, whore, within the precincts of 
the temple, he had a renewed manifestation of the divine glory which he had seen in 
the first vision, 3, 4; a vision of different forms of idolatry practised in the temple: the 
Syrian. 5, 6; the Egyptian, 7-12; the Phoenician, 13, 14; and the Persian, 15, 16; on 
which an appeal is made in reference to these atrocious abominations, and a denuncia 
tion of the unsparing punishment with which they were to be visited, 17, 18. 

Rosenm uller, H ivernick, and Hit/ig, regard this chapter, together with the three following, 
as forming a separate and distinct portion of the book. Fairbairn treats the viii. by 
itself, and the ix. x. and xi. as a connected portion. 

1 AND it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the 
fifth of the month, I was sitting in my house, and the elders of 
Judah were sitting before me, and the hand of the Lord Jehovah 

1 . The sixth year here assigned as the 
date of the vision is doubtless that of the 
captivity of Jchoiachin, the fifth of which 
is specified chap. i. 2 ; the seventh, chap. 
xx. 1 ; the ninth, chap. xxiv. 1 ; the 
tenth, chap. xxix. 1 ; the eleventh, chaps. 
xxvi. 1, xxxi. 1 ; the twelfth, chaps. 
xxxii. 1, xxxiii. 21 ; the twenty-fifth, 

chap. xl. 1 ; the twenty-seventh, chap, 
xxix. 17. That captivity was an event 
so fresh in the memory of the exiles and 
so determinative of their fate, that it 
must, in their estimation, have had an 
unparalleled degree of importance at 
tached to it. The reason why the elders 
were sitting before Ezekiel is not stated; 


E Z E K I E L . 

[CHAP. VIII. 1-4. 

descended upon mo there. And I looked, and behold, a form 
like the appearance of a man ; from the appearance of his loins 
and downwards there was fire, and from his loins and upwards 
there was as the appearance of splendor, as the appearance of 
polished brass. And he put forth the form of a hand, and laid 
hold of me by a lock of my head, and the Spirit raised me up 
between the earth and the heaven, and brought me to Jerusalem, 
in the visions of God, to the door of the inner gate that looketh 
northward, where was a pedestal, the image of jealousy, which 
caused jealousy. And behold, there the glory of the God of 

but most probably it was that they might 
listen to any further communications 
which he might have been commissioned 
to make to them in reference to their 
captivity. That they otherwise were 
present as witnesses of the sublime scene, 
as Havernick supposes, I cannot find. 
For the phrase rViPl "P , sec on chap, 
i. 3. 

2. Instead of ^ X , fire, the LXX., 
according to the Complut. and Aldine 
editions, have read fX , a man, which, 
though only one of Kcnnicott s MSS. 
has read thus originally, commends it 
self as the true reading by the reference 
made in the immediate connection to the 
loins and hand of a man, and by the 
circumstance of C- X occurring in the 
following clause, This conjecture is 
approved by Iloubigant, Seeker, New- 
come, Kosenmiiller, Ewald, and Ilit/.ig. 
The appearance of this human form was 
distinguished by a brilliancy such as the 
prophet had seen in his first vision, 
chap. i. 4 ; and the person referred to 
was doubtless the Angel of the Covenant. 
nb S iTj , the feminine of ^^ H in the 
passage just quoted, which sec. 

3. The hand taking the prophet by a 
lock of his hair, and his being lifted up 
by the Spirit, are not, of course, to be 
taken literally, but arc parts of the scenic 
representation. ETnerriiffai 57, O TJ tv 
6pdffft Qfov Tavra. & irpo^rtrris <f>7) iiapa- 
Ktvai. Ou TO IVVV ffianartKTj fiv nfrdOeffis, 
oi/Sf -rlav TTJJ (rapxbs O(p6a\/J.u>v r] Ofupia, 
oAA tv T(f olKta xaOrintvos p.(rav Ttuv 

TrptfrpvTfpwv lovSa ravrrjv aTtaffav r^v 
OTTTaaiav twpa, Thcodorct. Transported 
in spirit to Jerusalem, the prophet was 
set down at the north gate, which was 
that facing the direction in which he is 
supposed to have been conducted from 
his residence on the Chebar. Within 
this gate, which opened into the outer 
court of the temple, was another, 
r-E^JSn , the inner, leading to the court 
of the priests, in which stood the altar 
of burnt-offering, where the ordinary 
worship was presented. Here was the 
2 13 ""2 , pedestal, on which had stood the 
statue or image of Astarte, which Ma- 
nassch had had the audacious effrontery 
to erect in the temple of Jehovah (2 Kings 
xxi. 7). This idol, arresting the atten 
tion of all who came to worship in the 
temple just as they entered it, claimed, 
as the rival of Jehovah, their adoration, 
on which account it is called ^x:^ri b?2D 
the. imnqc. of jealousy. The worship of 
this idol, consecrated by the Syrians to 
Venus, was accompanied with licentious 
rites, and must have been peculiarly 
offensive to the Holy One of Israel. See 
my Comment, on Isa. xvii. 8. 

4. Great as had been the provocation 
given by the worship of this idol, Jeho 
vah is represented as not yet having 
removed his presence from the temple. 
The symbol of that presence the glori 
ous effulgence of Him who dwelt between 
the cherubim met the eye of the proph 
et. See chap. x. 4. It is added that 
there was a correspondence between 

CHAP. VIII. 4-12.] 




Israel, as the appearance which I saw in the valley. And he 
si..J unto me : Son of man, lift up now thine eyes in the way 
towards the north. So I lifted up mine eyes in the way towards 
the north, and behold, on the north, at the gate of the altar, 
this image of jealousy at the entrance. And he said unto me : 
Son of man, seest thou what they are doing ? the great abomina 
tions which the house of Israel are committing here, to cause 
me to go far off from my sanctuary ? but turn yet again, and 
thou shalt see greater abominations. And he brought me to the 

o o 

door of the court, and I looked, and behold, a hole in the wall. 
Then he said unto me ; Son of man, dig now in the wall ; and 
I digged in the wall, and behold, a door. And he said unto me ; 
Go in, and see the wicked abominations which they are commit 
ting here. So I went in, and saw, and behold, every form of 
creeping things and abominable beasts, and all the dung-gods 

this display of the divine glory, and that 
which he had seen in the plain, chaps. 
i. 26-28 ; iii. 12, 22, 23. 

5. Ezekicl is now supposed to be 
within the court of the priests ; and, 
facing the north, he has his attention 
specially directed to the idolatrous statue 
which had been placed beside the gate 
leading to the altar of burnt-offering. 
From what is here stated, it is to be 
inferred that the prophet saw the idol 
in vision, though it may actually have 
been removed by Josiah when he puri 
fied the temple. The object of the vis 
ion was to represent the different forms 
of idolatry in which the Jews had in 
dulged within the precincts of the sacred 
edifice, and which drew down upon 
them the punishment of the captivity. 

6. DiTO , a contracted form of OH TTQ , 
as B?^ 1 ? forB?b~rra, Isa. iii. 15. In 
" i?C!? the ""I is paragogic and em 
phatic. It has been questioned to whom 
this Infinitive is to be referred as its 
object, whether to Jehovah or to the 
Jews. In my opinion, it is more natural 
to refer it to the former, the removal of 
whose glory from the temple was the 
immediate precursor and signal of its 
being abandoned to destruction. 

7-12. The framework of the temple 

consisted of massive stone, wainscoted 
with cedar-wood. The hole in the wall 
marked the entrance which led into the 
chambers of imagery. It had, however, 
been blocked up in the time of the refor 
mation effected by Josiah, and required 
to be re-opcncd in order to afford access. 
This operation the prophet is command 
ed to perform, on which the door of the 
idolatrous adytum presented itself to 
his view. He now found himself sur 
rounded by monuments of Egyptian 
idolatry depicted on the walls of the 
chambers. That it was customary for 
the Egyptians to adorn their chambers 
with hieroglyphics, appears from the 
testimony of Diodorus Siculus, who 
states, (i. p. 59, ed. Wcss.) that "round 
the room at Thebes, where the body of 
king Osymanduas was buried, a multi 
tude of chambers was built, which had 
elegant paintings of the animals held 
sacred in Egypt." Thus also Ammianus 
Marcellinus (lib. xxii.): Suntet Syringes 
subterranei quidam et flexuosi sccessus, 
quos, ut fertur, periti rituum vetustorum 

pcnitus opcrosis digcstos fodinis 

per loca diversa struxerunt, et excisis 
parietibus, volucrum fcrarumquc genera 
multa sculpserunt, quas hieroglyphicas 
literas appellarunt. The hieroglyphics, 



[CHAP. VIII. 7-14. 

of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about. 

11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the 
house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah, the 
son of Shaphan, every man with his censer in his hand ; and a 

12 thick cloud of incense was ascending. Then he said unto me: 
Seest thou, son of man, what the ancients of the house of Israel 
are doing in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery ? 
for they say : Jehovah seeth us not ; Jehovah hath forsaken the 

13 earth. He said also unto me: Turn yet again ; thou shalt see 

which were pictured signs of outward 
objects, in general abounded in those of 
all kinds of animals, and weresyml>olical 
of the degrading objects of Egyptian 
worship : 

" The wildest images, unheard of, strange. 
That ever puzzled antiquarians brains; 
Genii with heads of birds, hawks, ibes, drakes, 
Of lions, foxes, cats, fish, frogs, and snakes, 
Bulls, rains, and monkeys; hippopotami 
With knife in paw, suspended from the sky; 
Gods pcrminuting men, and men turned gods, 
Seated in honor, with gilt crooks and rods; 
Vast scarabxi, globes by hands upheld, 
From chaos springing, mid an endless field 
Of fornn grotesque, the sphinx, the crocodile, 
And other reptiles from the slime of Nile." 

To these the Jews, insatiate with 
idolatry, had added pictured representa 
tions of all the other fictitious deities to 
whose worship they were addicted. The 
chambers formed a complete Pantheon. 
To aggravate the evil, it is represented 
as committed by the members of the 
Sanhedrim, who, from their judicial 
character, were bound to suppress all 
acts of idolatry. Instead of fulfilling 
their duty in discountenancing whatever 
was opposed to the holy service of Jeho 
vah, they were not only ringleaders in 
the scenes of wickedness, but went so 
far as to deny the omniscience and om 
nipresence of the Most High. The sev 
enty ciders were originally a select body 
taken from the oldest and most judicious 
of the people (Numb. xi. 16, 17, 24,25). 
If the Shaphan here mentioned is to be 
conceived of as the scribe who read to 
Josiah the book of the law which was 
found in the temple, we cannot imagine 
that he would neglect to communicate 

to his family all that transpired on the oc 
casion : the circumstance will enhance the 
guilt of his son Jauzaniah, who rendered 
himself conspicuously prominent in the 
act of idolatrous worship. When it is 
Baid each of the seventy had his censer 
in his hand, it is not implied that they 
were priests belonging to the temple, 
and that the censers were necessarily 
those which had been therein used, but 
simply that they were all engaged in 
burning incense before and in honor of 
the idols. If, indeed, they prostituted 
the sacred utensils for this purpose, 
their character must have appeared to 
Ezckicl in a still more odious light. 
Degrees of guilt arc to be estimated 
according to the circumstances in which 
that guilt is contracted. , 

13, 14. The next scene to which the 
prophet is introduced, was one of Phoe 
nician idolatry. 

" Thnmmuz came next behind, 
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured 
The Syrian damsels to lament his fate 
In amorous ditties all a summer s day: 
While smooth Adonis from his native rock 
Ran purple to the sea, supposed with blood 
Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the love tale 
Infected Sion s daughters with like heat, 
Whose wanton passions, in the sacred porch, 
Ezckiel saw, when by the vision led. 
His eye surveyed the dark idolatries 
Of alienated Judah." 

The position occupied by the Jewish 
females here described, was just inside 
the outer court, or that of the women, 
on the north side of the temple. In 
stead of bewailing their own sins, and 
those of their people, they are represented 
as celebrating the feast of Adonis, whose 

CHAP. VIII. 13-16.] 



14 greater abominations which they are doing. Then he brought 
me to the door of the gate of the house of Jehovah, which was 
towards the north, and behold, there sat women weeping for 

15 Tammuz. And he said unto me : Hast thou seen this, O son 
of man ? turn yet again ; thou shalt see greater abominations 

16 than these. And he brought me into the inner court of the 
house of Jehovah, and behold, at the door of the temple of Jeho 
vah, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty 
men with their backs towards the temple of Jehovah, and their 
faces towards the east, and they were worshipping the sun tow- 

name the Vulgate here substitutes for 
Tammuz. This Adonis, according to 
the ancient mythology, was a beautiful 
youth, who lived in one of the most 
enchanting regions of Lebanon, where 
the river has its spring which is called 
by his name. Having, while engaged 
in a hunt, been killed by a wild boar, he 
was bitterly lamented by Venus, who 
had been enamored of him. Owing to 
her influence, as the myth goes, Proser 
pina permitted him to spend one half 
of the year with Venus upon earth, but 
he was obliged to spend the other half 
in the lower world. Annually as the 
time of his death came round, a feast in 
honor of it was celebrated at Byblos, 
where the river Adonis, red with blood, 
descended into the sea, on which occa 
sion the Syrian females, in frenzied grief, 
cut off their hair, or else yielded their 
bodies for prostitution, the money they 
earned by which being consecrated to 
Venus. This feast was succeeded by 
several days of rejoicing on account of 
the return of Adonis to the upper world. 
To the former feast the name of a<pa- 
vtfffjAs AStiviSos, the disappearance of 
Adonis, was given, and to the latter 
tvpeffts ASavitios, t/te jindiny of Adonis. 
The same festival was celebrated in 
Egypt in honor of Osiris, with respect 
to whom the fabulous story somewhat 
varied. The worship is otherwise sup 
posed to have been symbolical of the 
course of the sun and his influence on 
the earth. The celebration of this festi 

val falling in our June or July, the name 
of Tammuz was given to this month in 
the Jewish calendar. Etymology may 
be said to have exhausted its powers in 
endeavoring to obtain a suitable deriva 
tion for Ttan . That proposed by Hav- 
ernick is as probable as any. He con 
siders the root to have been 1TT3 , equiv 
alent to COa , to fail, melt, flow down, 
and the form to be contracted for t^TSIl , 
just as "I HSin is derived from ^"TO The 
idea thus suggested will equally apply 
to the fabulous account of Adonis, to 
the river so called, and to the diminu 
tion of the solar influence. The Article 
in Tiann appears to be used with refer 
ence to the appellative signification of 
the term. Havernick aptly remarks, 
that the prophet could not have used 
the name Adonis, owing to the appro 
priated use of IVIX to Jehovah. The 
Jewish females are represented as sitting, 
which was the posture of mourners (Job 
ii. 13; Isa. iii. 26; xlvii. 1). 

15, 16. The most aggravated form of 
idolatry here described as witnessed by 
Ezekiel was that commonly known by 
the name of the Persian, which we find 
recognized as existing so early as the 
time of Job (chap. xxxi. 26). It was 
afterwards reformed by Zoroaster, and 
consisted chiefly in the worship of the 
sun, which the ancient Persians consid 
ered to be the eye of Ormuzd, their 
principal deity. Thcheinousnessof the 
crime presented to the view of Ezekiel 
consisted in the contempt cast on the 



[CHAP. VIII. 15-17. 

17 ards the east. Then he said unto me : Hast thou seen this, O 
son of man ? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they 
commit the abominations which they are committing here ? for 
they have filled the land with violence, and have turned back 
to provoke me to anger ; and behold, they put the branch to 

18 their nose. Therefore I also will deal in fury ; mine eye shall 
not spare, neither will I have pity, and though they may cry in 
mine ears with a loud voice, yet I will not hear them. 

God of Israel, by the worshippers turn 
ing their backs upon him, as dwelling 
between the cherubim over the altar of 
burnt-offering, directly in front of the 
eastern entrance of the temple ; and 
facing the east, paying their adorations 
to the rising sun. What added to the 
greatness of the crime was the relation 
in which the worshippers arc supposed 
officially to have stood to Jehovah. 
That these worshippers were the priests, 
has justly been inferred, both from the 
place in which they appeared, which was 
that where the Jewish priests were ac 
customed to perform the principal duties 
of their office, and from the circumstance 
that, as Lightfoot perceived, the number 
corresponds to that of the twenty-four 
prefects of the courses into which David 
had distributed the priests, with the high 
priest at their head, making the twenty- 
fifth. crpintTwa is so manifestly an 
error of the copyist, that it is surprising 
how Havcrnick and Fairbairn should 
have attempted to vindicate the position 
so uncritically adopted by Lightfoot, 
that the word was originally written in 
this corrupt form, and designedly em 
ployed to indicate the corrupt worship 
which it describes. OVrjrv.;;^ is the 
reading of eight MSS., and has been 
that of seven more originally. Among 
these codices are two Spanish, ancient 
and good. 

1 7. The scene concludes with a pointed 
appeal in reference to the abominations 
which had been described ; and in the 

following verse with an announcement 
of Jehovah s inexorable threatening of 
condign punishment. C i n r \I3 ClCr 1 ! 
CEX-bx rrns.Trrnx , "And behold," 
they put the branch to their nose." 
That by "" ^ ST here we arc to under 
stand a twitj or branch (compare for this 
signification chap. xv. 2), and not a song, 
seems best to agree with the context, 
and to have reference to a ceremony 
practised by the sun-worshippers, who, 
on the rising of that luminary in the 
eastern horizon, celebrate the event with 
a hymn, during the singing of which 
they hold before their face a bundle of 
branches, taken from the pomegranate 
tree, the tamarisk, or the pine. To this 
collection of branches they give the name 
of Barsom. Strain) thus describes the 
custom : Tos tirwSas TTQIOVVTO.I iro\vf 
\p6vov (ta/SSuv jUVpiKtPac \tirriiiiv SfV/uijv 
/rart xoiTfs. Compare Hyde, Hist. Kelig. 
Vctcr. Persar. lib. i. cap. xxvii. and 
Kleukcr s Zendavesta, vol. iii. p. 204. 
Ilavernick takes much pains to set aside 
tliis interpretation, and to establish a 
reference to lamentations for Adonis ; 
but in my opinion unsuccessfully. All 
the MSS. read CBN , their nose, none 
^BX , mi/ The prophet was so 
much disgusted at the profanity which 
he had witnessed in the temple, that ho 
could not close his description without 
adverting to this further indication of 
an idolatrous preference of the creature 
to the Creator. 

CHAP. IX. 1-3.] 




The vision in this chapter embraces the instruments to be employed by Jehovah in taking 
vengeance on the guilty inhabitants of Jerusalem, 1, 2; his merciful regard to his true 
worshippers, 3, 4; the unsparing punishment of the incorrigible, 5-7; and the refusal of 
the prophet s intercession on behalf of the city, 8-11. 

1 THEN he cried in mine ears with a loud voice, saying: Cause 

them that are in charge of the city to draw near quickly, even 

2 every one with his weapon of destruction in his hand. And 
behold six men came from the way of the upper gate which 
faced the north, and every one with his deadly weapon in his 
hand, and one man among them clothed in linen, with a writer s 
inkhorn by his side, and they went in and stood beside the 

1. Ezekicl is still in a state of trance 
in the temple, where he hears the charge 
given to the executioners of the divine 
indignation to approach, prepared for 
the onslaught. These executioners are 
designated "i" 1 "^ ^^P > which may 
either be taken as an elliptical form for 
ITnpQ I ^S X , men of the punishments of 
the city, i.e. the men appointed to inflict 
these punishments; or, mnpQ may be 
regarded as a concrete feminine, such as 
is frequently used to designate persons 
in office. See Isa. Ix. 17. The term will 
thus characterize those who were in 
charge of the city, not indeed its usucil 
guardians, but those who were appointed 
to destroy it. These were now to draw 
near and commence their work of de 
struction. Sfl^ as here used in Piel, 
is intensive, to intimate that their opera 
tions were to begin speedily. 

2. Some, after Jerome, have supposed 
that the six men were angels ; but I 
agree with those who think they were 
representatives of the Chaldean generals 
who led on the hostile army against 
Jerusalem. What confirms this view is 
the circumstance, that they are exhibited 
as coming from the north, the direction 
from which the attack would be made. 
j-hbsn ^irCJ ~^ , the way of the higher 
gate, i.e. the way leading to it. This 

gate was in all probability that of Eph- 
raim, situated much about where the 
present gate of Damascus is. Y^ ? 
a maul, war-hammer, or club, consisting 
of a heavy piece of wood, effectively used 
as an offensive weapon by the ancients. 
Root 1 B3 , to dash in pieces. It is the 
same that is called nTi^E "V33 , a des 
troying weapon, in the preceding verse. 
The man who appeared among the six 
military leaders, though classed along 
with them, had a very different office 
assigned him. He was a messenger of 
mercy, having been appointed to mark 
the pious, to prevent any punishment 
from being inflicted upon them. His 
being dressed in a linen garment implies 
that he was a priest, such being specially 
the sacerdotal attire (Exod. xxviii. 42) ; 
and, comparing the present passage with 
Dan. x. 5 ; xii. 6, we may infer that he 
was designed to represent the Angel of 
the Covenant, in his priestly character, 
mediating in behalf of his people. His 
having a writer s inkhorn by his side 
indicates his being prepared to perform 
the task devolved upon him at the time. 
He had his implements at hand, as the 
oriental scribes in the present day, who 
suspend their inkhorn in the girdle at 
their side. 
3. The cherubic figure here mentioned 



[CHAP. IX. 3-4. 

brazen altar. And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up 
from above the cherub, over which he had been, to the threshold 
of the house. And he cried to the man who was clothed in 
linen, who had the writer s inkhorn by his side. And Jehovah 
said unto him : Go through the midst of the city, through the 
midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the 
men that are sighing and crying on account of all the abomina 
tions which are wrought in the midst of it. 

differed from the composite figure seen 
by Ezckicl at the Chebar, .and was that 
which overshadowed the mercy-seat in 
the holy of holies. There the symbol of 
the divine presence had resided, (2 Sam. 
vi. 2 ; Ps. Ixxx. 1 ; but it had now de 
parted in token of the abandonment of 
the temple to destruction. 

4. cbttisn 1 ] --ins , through the midst 
of Jerusalem, is added to I" 1 ?"? TpF3 , 
through the midst of the cify, for the pur 
pose of emphatically marking it as the 
locality in which the divine judgments 
were to be inflicted. The priestly mes 
senger was commissioned to distinguish, 
by a mark on their foreheads, those 
inhabitants of the city, who, deeply 
affected by the sight of abounding idol 
atry, gave unequivocal signs of fidelity 
to Jehovah. CTpaSjn 1 ) CPrjXrn form 
a beautiful paronomasia, and express 
with great force the pungent feelings of 
holy grief of which the individuals were 
the subjects. They not only groaned 
inwardly (nX) , but they were in such 
anguish that they almost choked them 
selves by endeavoring to give utterance 
to their feelings (pix). These feelings 
were too intense to admit of their being 
embodied in articulate speech. Compare 
the (TTfvdy/jioi a\a\ri7ot of the apostle, 
Koin. viii. 26. Because *f) , Tav, the 
last letter in the Hebrew alphabet, had 
originally, as may be seen on the Phoeni 
cian monuments, the shape of a cross, 
or a post with a transverse beam, it lias 
been maintained, that the mark which 
the messenger was to imprint on the 
foreheads of the pious was specifically 
that of the cross, and have consequently 

given it a Christian significance. Even 
Hitzig renders zeichne ein kreuz. But, 
though the Arabs give the name of 
to a mark in the shape of a cross 

burnt into the neck or thighs of horses 
and camels, it cannot hence be inferred 
that the word employed in our prophet 
is to be so interpreted, or that there 
is any reference whatever to a letter of 
the alphabet. The Arabic here has 

, a mark or sign. The text is 
simply in rP inil ; LXX. obs ffti^eiov ; 

Syr. M no r> i ^CO? mark a mark. 

The noun is derived from the verb, and 
takes the same general signification. 
This verb occurs only here in Hithpacl, 
and but once besides in Piel (1 Sam. 
xxi. 13), where it is used in reference to 
the marks which David scrawled on the 
doors at Gath. It was customary with 
the ancients to impress a characteristic 
mark upon the foreheads of servants, 
and the worshippers of particular deities 
were in like manner thus distinguished. 
Compare Kcv. vii. 3 ; xiii. 16 ; xiv. 1, 9. 
The object of the marking, in the present 
instance, was to insure the safety of 
those who remained faithful to Jehovah 
amidst the abounding abominations. 
The pious may ever count on the pro 
tecting care of their heavenly Father, 
and feel assured, that how severe soever 
may be the trials through which they 
may have to pass, they shall work to 
gether for their good (Ps. xxvii. 3-6 ; 
2 Peter ii. 6-9; Isa.xliii. 2). No doubt 
provision was made for the escape of 

CHAP. IX. 4-10.] 



5 And to those he said in my ears : Go through the city after him, 

6 and smite ; let not your eye spare, neither have pity. Slay 
utterly old and young, both maids and little children and 
women, but come not near any man upon whom is the mark ; 
and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient 

7 men who were before the house. And he said unto them : 
Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain : go ye forth. 

8 And they went forth, and slew in the city. And it came to 
pass as they were slaying them, that I was left, and I fell upon 
my face : and I cried and said : Ah, Lord Jehovah, wilt thou 
destroy all the remainder of Israel in thy pouring out of thy 

9 fury upon Jerusalem ? Then he said unto me : The iniquity 
of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the 
land is full of blood, and the city is full of perverseness ; for 
they say ; " Jehovah hath forsaken the earth," and " Jehovah 

10 seeth not." And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, 
neither Avill I have pity ; I will recompense their way upon 
their head. 

these distinguished servants of God, 
compare Jcr. xv. 11 ; xxxix. 11-18, just 
as afterwards, at the destruction of Jeru 
salem by the Romans, the Christians 
made their escape to Pella, beyond 

5-7. It seems passing strange that 
Havernick should attempt a defence of 
the reading ^?, which is so obviously 
an orthographical mistake for ?X , the 
pronunciation being the same. 5X is 
found in very many of Kennicott and 
De Rossi s MSS., and in several of the 
earlier printed editions. The pious hav 
ing been placed in safety, the Chaldeans 
were let loose upon the city, and an 
indiscriminate slaughter ensued. The 
destruction was to commence where the 
greatest abominations had been com 
mitted, and punishment inflicted upon 
those who had been ringleaders in idol 
atry. Compare 1 Peter iv. 17, 18. The 
temple in which only the blood of sacri 
ficial victims had been poured out, was 
now to be desecrated by the dead bodies 
of the slain. Having executed exem 
plary punishment in the sanctuary upon 

those who had been the foremost in 
crime, the enemies were to go into the 
city and slay all whom they fell in with. 
8-10. The anomalous form "^DJO 
has doubtless arisen, as Gcsenius ob 
serves, from the mingling of the parti 
cipial form IS w3 with that of the future 
1X1TX . The reading of the MSS. varies, 
some omitting the X , and others the 2 
The emphatic addition of the pronoun 
h ? x . ? /, would seem to express the idea, 
that Ezekiel conceived himself to be 
a solitary exception to the universal 
slaughter in the temple. The introduc 
tion of the prophet s intercession was 
designed to afford occasion for the further 
declaration of the divine abhorrence of 
the flagrant crimes of the Hebrew people. 
Though deeply convinced that they 
richly deserved the judgments that were 
inflicted upon them, Ezekiel could not 
witness the murderous scene which was 
being enacted, without feelings of com 
miseration. The double form "^p? 
"1X13 , very, very, exceedingly, ver. 9, is 
superlatively expressive ; LXX. (r<pdpa 
<r<f>6$pa. See.Gen. xvii. 2, 6 ; Ezek. xvi. 



[CHAP. X. 1-3, 

11 And behold, the man clothed in linen, with the inkhorn by his 
side, reported the matter, saying : I have done according as 
thou commandedst me. 

13. FH*P properly the participle of 11. The messenger, having accom- 

Hophal, i rom !~!23 , to stretch out, turn plished his task, is represented as re- 

aivay. Hence the phrase ^S^ r ""^""i* porting the fact, to intimate the certainty 

to turn aside, urest justice, and here Huitt , of the awful event. 
moral distortion, per terseness. 


Further to indicate the dreadful character of the approaching catastrophe to be effected 
by the Chaldean power, Ezokiel has a repetition of the vision described, chap. i. Some 
of the minor features vary, but the grand outlines are identical. His attention is first 
arrested by a luminous display of the divine throne, 1; when he hears an order given to 
the sacerdotal messenger described in the preceding chapter to inflict the judgments on 
the city, 2; after which he sees the visible symbol of the presence of Jehovah remove to 
the threshold of the temple, 3-7. Thence, to the end of the chapter, follows the de 
scription of the cherubim. 

1 THEN I looked, and behold, in the expanse that was above the 

head of the cherubim, there appeared over them as it were a 

2 sapphire-stone, as the appearance of the form of a throne. And 
he spake unto the man clothed in linen, and said : Go in between 
the wheels under the cherub, and fill thy hand with coals of 
fire from between the cherubim, and scatter them over the city, 

1. The prophet has again presented to 
his view a manifestation of the glorious 
throne of Jehovah, to indicate that, 
whatever inferior agents might be em 
ployed for the punishment of the Jews, 
they were under His supreme direction. 
See chap. i. 26. 

2. The nominative to ""JXV is Jeho- 
rah, understood. The messenger of 
mercy is now transformed into a mes 
senger of judgment. He is commissioned 
to procure coals of fire from the cheru 
bim, and scatter them over the city 
not, as some contend, for the purpose of 
purifying, but as a symbol of destruction. 
Comp. Rev. viii. 5. The destructive 
energy of the Babylonian power was to 

be called into fearful operation. ^;>V? 
gtilgal, the name here given to the wheels, 
derived from 5?^ , to roll, is, from its 
peculiar form, expressive of their quick 
circular motion, and thus differs from 
*S"X , ofilian, which merely conveys the 
idea of their revolving, from "|SX , to turn. 
Compare chapters xxiii. 24 ; xxvi. 10. 
""i? , cherub, is used collectively for 
D^iPS, cherubim. Thus the LXX. 
Xtpovflifi. The plural follows immedi 
ately after in this and the following 

3. That the cherubim here referred to 
were those which Ezekicl had seen in 
the first vision, and not those which 
overshadowed the mercy-seat, is evident 

CHAP. X. 3-13.] EZEKIEL. 57 

3 And he went in in my sight. Now the cherubim stood on the 
right side of the house, when the man went in, and the cloud 
filled the inner court. 

4 Then the glory of Jehovah went up above the cherub at the 

threshold of the house ; and the house was filled with the cloud, 
and the court was filled with the brightness of Jehovah s glory. 

5 And the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard even to 
the outer court, as the voice of Almighty God when he speaketh 

6 And it came to pass, when he had commanded the man clothed 
in linen, saying : Take fire from between the wheel, from be 
tween the cherubim ; then he entered and stood beside the 

7 wheel. And the cherub stretched forth his hand from between 
the cherubim to the fire that was between the cherubim, and he 
took it up, and put it into the hands of him that was clothed in 

8 linen, who took it and went out. And there appeared in the 

9 cherubim the form of a man s hand under their wings. I also 
saw, and behold, four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel 
beside one cherub, and one wheel beside another cherub ; and 
the appearance of the wheels was as the color of Tarshish-stone. 

10 And as for their appearances, they four had one likeness, as it 

11 were a wheel within a wheel. When they went, they went upon 
their four sides ; they turned not when they went ; but to the 
place whither the head looked, thither they followed it ; they 

12 turned not when they went ; even their whole body, and their 
backs, and their hands, and their wings : and as for the wheels, 

from their being stationed on the right symbol of the holy displeasure with 

side of the house, and not in the holy which God regarded the place where his 

of holies, as well as from their having worship had been performed, 

had wheels, which was not the case with 5. The rustling made by the wings of 

the latter. That the symbol of the the cherubim as they moved was loud, 

Chaldean power should be thus repre- like thunder, reverberating in the outer 

sented as occupying a position on the court of the temple. All was prognostic 

right, which was the south side of the of the awful change which was to take 

temple, and not on the north, from place in Jerusalem, 

which direction it had come from Baby- 6-8. The going in and out has refer- 

lon, is to be accounted for by the circum- ence, not to the temple, but to the 

stance that by this time it is contemplated cherubic appearance here specified, 

as having so far done its work by filling When within, the messenger was en- 

the temple with the dead bodies of those closed by wheels on every side. Having 

who had been slain in it, and was now received the fire from the hand of one 

ready to destroy the city, which lay to of the living creatures, he immediately 

the south and west. came out to scatter it over the city. 

4. The "ft?, cloud, instead of the TC3, 9-12. See on chap. i. 16-21. 

glory, now filled the inner court as a 13. With special reference to the 

58 EZEKIEL. [CHAP. X. 13-22. 

they were full of eyes round about ; to them four were their 

13 wheels. To the wheels one was crying in mine ears : O wheel. 

14 And there were four faces to each : the face of the one was the 
face of a cherub ; and the face of the second was the face of a 
man ; and the third was the face of a lion ; and the fourth the 

15 face of an eagle. And the cherubim were lifted up ; it was the 

16 living creature which I had seen by the river Chebar. And 
when the cherubim went, the wheels went beside them ; and 
when the cherubim lifted up their wings to mount up from the 

17 earth, the same wheels also turned not from beside them. When 
they stood, these stood ; and when they were lifted up, these 
were lifted up also ; for the spirit of the living creature was in 

18 them. And the glory of Jehovah went forth from off the thresh- 

19 old of the house, and stood above the cherubim. And the 
cherubim lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth 
in my sight, when they went forth : and the wheels were beside 
them, and they stood at the door of the east gate of the house 
of Jehovah ; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them 

20 above. It was the living creature which I had seen under the 
God of Israel at the river Chebar ; and I knew that they were 

21 cherubim. To each one were four faces, and four wings to one, 

22 and the form of a man s hand under their wings. And as to 
the form of their faces, they were the faces which I had seen by 
the river Chebar : their appearances and themselves, they went 
each straightforward. 

signification of S--5 , the term used in creatures at the Chebar. His repeated 

application to the wheels, vcr. 2, it is declaration to this effect shows the im- 

addressed to them as possessing the portance that was to he attached to the 

force of an imperative, roll, roll, i.e. with visions, and was calculated to secure 

the utmost celerity, for the accomplish- deeper attention to the significance of 

ment of the divine decree. the symbols. 

14. Compare chap. i. 10. As to the 16, 17. Compare chap. i. 21. 

use of ^"3, cheruli, here, instead of 18, 19. The symbol of the divine 

Till? , bull, in the corresponding descrip- presence now entirely departed from the 

tion, we may adopt the language of temple ; and the cherubic figure pro- 

Maurer : ratio non est in promptu. cecded to execute the work of dcstruc- 

15, 20, 22. Ezekicl distinctly recog- tion in the city. 

nized this cherubic vision as identical 21, 22. Compare chap i. 8, 9. 
with that which he had of the living 

CHAP. XI. 1-3.] 




This chapter contains a further vision of unbelieving presumption before the prophet left 
the precincts of the desecrated edifice, 1-3; the sin and judgment of the scoflers, 4-12; 
the intercession of the prophet, 13 ; a prediction of the recovery of the Hebrews from 
idolatry, and the ultimate destruction of the incorrigible, 14-21; and concludes with a 
final glimpse of the Divine glory, the cessation of the vision, and the return of the 
prophet in a trance to his captive countrymen in Chaldea, to whom he communicates 
all the circumstances of the visions, 22-25. 

1 MOREOVER the Spirit took me up, and brought me to the east 

gate of the house of Jehovah, that faceth the east ; and behold, 
in the door of the gate five and twenty men, and I beheld among 
them Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Ben- 

2 aiah, princes of the people. Then he said unto me : Son of 
man, these are the men that devise iniquity and counsel wicked- 

3 ness in this city, that say : It is not near ; to the building of 

1, 2. From the circumstance that the 
number of twenty-five coincides with 
that of the sun-worshippers, chap. viii. 
16, it has been supposed by Jarchi, 
Havernick, and Fairbairn, that the per 
sons here described were the priests, 
whose idolatrous conduct is there repro 
bated, and that the present vision is 
designed to teach that the sacerdotal 
order, of which they were the represent 
atives, was henceforth to cease from 
ministering in the temple, and to suffer 
in the general calamity. However nat 
ural this interpretation may at first sight 
appear, there is an insuperable objection 
to it in the designation, C?fi "Hb , 
princes of the people, a designation no 
where given to the priests. When called 
princes in this acceptation, it is either in 
the form ^^1P "^ ^ > princes or rulers 
of the sanctuary, as Isa. xliii. 28, or in 
that of C-OnSPI nb, princes of the 
priests, as 2 Chron. xxxvi. 14. The 
conjecture of Fairbairn, that they are 
called princes of the people somewhat 
ironically, because they were their ring 
leaders in wickedness, is not satisfactory. 
I rather take them to have been the civil 
officers elected by the suffrages of the 
people, who used their influence with 

Zedekiah, and persusvded him not to 
submit to the king of Babylon, in flat 
contradiction of the message which Je 
hovah had commissioned Jeremiah to 
deliver to the king. See Jcr. xxxviii. 4. 
They are characterized, ver. 2, as " the 
men that devise mischief, and give 
wicked counsel." The prophet sees 
them assembled outside the portico, or 
vestibule, commonly called Solomon s 
porch, at the east end of the temple, and 
forming the principal entrance into it. 
They are doubtless to be contemplated 
as met in counsel to devise the wicked 
advice which they gave to Zedekiah. 

3. The force of their wicked counsel, 
which here assumes a proverbial aspect, 
appears to be this : "A long period will 
elapse before our city shall be taken ; we 
may therefore furnish ourselves with 
every accommodation, and shall receive 
no essential damage from the enemy, any 
more than the flesh that is being boiled 
does from the fire that is burning around 
the pot. Let the flames of war burn 
around us ; we are perfectly secure ; and 
should matters at last come to the worst, 
it will be time enough then to think 
about the measures to be adopted for our 

safety." crna rvija ari^a so , GOT 

60 EZEKIEL. [CiiAr. XL 3-12. 

4 Louses ; it is the caldron, and we are the flesh. Therefore 

5 prophesy against them, prophesy, son of man. And the Spirit 
of Jehovah fell upon me, and he said unto me : Speak, Thus 
saith Jehovah ; Thus ye have spoken, O house of Israel : for as 
for the things that come into your mind, I know each one of 

6 them. Ye have multiplied your slain in this city, and have filled 

7 the streets thereof with slain. Therefore, thus saith the Lord 
Jehovah : Your slain which ye have placed in the midst thereof, 
they are the flesh, and she is the caldron ; but as for you, get 

8 you out of the midst of her. Of a sword ye have been afraid, 
and a sword I will bring upon you, saith the Lord Jehovah. 

9 And I will cause you to go forth from the midst of her, and will 
deliver you into the hand of strangers, and execute judgments 

10 upon you. By the sword ye shall fall ; at the boundary of 
Israel I will judge you, and ye shall know that I am Jehovah. 

11 It shall not be to you for a caldron, and ye shall not be in the 
midst of it for flesh : at the boundary of Israel I will judge you. 

12 And ye shall know that I am Jehovah, in whose statutes ye have 
not walked, and whose judgments ye have not executed, but have 
acted according to the judgments of the nations that were 
around you. 

scnius and Ewald, after the LXX., ren- us in a state of captivity, in Babylon, 

der interrogatively : " is it not near, the and advises us to prepare for a long resi- 

building of houses ? " and interpret the dence in that land by building houses for 

words of the rebuilding of the houses our accommodation ; but we will make 

ruined in the seige. This construction, ourselves comfortable where we arc ; it 

however, affords no appropriate sense, will be long enough before such captivity 

even were it conceded that xb stands for be realized." 

xbti , which Hitzig considers to be inad- 4. To give emphatic earnestness to 

missiblc. I prefer, therefore, to divide the command, N^""! is repeated, 

the sentence, and to take jib as an abso- 5. The Searcher of hearts asserts his 

lute negative, ti pp , near, is used of perfect knowledge of the secret machi- 

timc the period of destruction being nations of the princes, 

understood as prominently in the mind 6,7. They had advised those measures 

of the speakers. The objection of Mau- which brought destruction upon the city 

rcr to the rendering of D^P2 Plia , let and its inhabitants, who, in allusion to 

us build houses, that it would require the their own figure, were to be regarded as 

Infinitive absolute, is grammatically just; the flesh that had been killed and was 

but, if we take the construct form as ex- lying in the streets. As for themselves, 

pressing what the minds of the evil coun- they might escape destruction in the 

sellers were intensely fixed on the build- city, but they should not escape punish- 

inrj of houses, it will be sufficiently accu- ment from the Chaldeans, who should 

rate in a proverbial statement. There execute it upon them at the frontier, 

may be here an implied reference to Jer. See ver. 10. 

xxix. 5. "The prophet contemplates 8-12. An amplification of the predic- 

CHAP. XI. 13-16.] 



13 And it came to pass, as I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of 

Benaiah died ; then I fell upon my face and cried with a loud voice 
and said : Alas, O Lord Jehovah ! thou art making an end of the 

14 remnant of Israel ! Then the word of Jehovah came unto me, 

15 saying : Son of man, thy brethren, thy brethren, the men of thy 
relationship, and the whole house of Israel, concerning whom the 
inhabitants of Jerusalem are saying : keep at a distance from 

16 Jehovah; the land is given to us for an inheritance. Never 
theless speak : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : though I have 
removed them far off among the nations, and though I have 
scattered them among the countries, yet I will be for a little a 

17 sanctuary to them in the countries whither they come. Where- 

tion delivered in verses 7 and 8, accom 
panied with a direct contradiction of 
their proverbial utterance with respect 
to safety. For &OS1H , ver. 7, the finite 
form 5O21X is found in thirty-nine 
MSS., in two early editions, and is so 
translated in all the ancient versions; 
but the reading of the received text ap 
pears better to suit the connection. On 
ver. 12 compare chap. v. 6. 

13. Scarcely had the doom of the 
wicked rulers been pronounced, when 
one of them was struck dead on the 
spot, as an earnest that the prophecy 
should assuredly be fulfilled. Regarding 
him as a representative of the people, 
the prophet breaks out in a pathetic 
exclamation, and asks whether Jehovah 
would effect a complete extermination 
of his people. 

14, 15. The inhabitants of Jerusalem, 
full of arrogant self-confidence, despised 
their brethren who had been carried into 
captivity, and contemptuously bade them 
be satisfied with their new abode, at a 
distance from the land of their fathers 
and the residence of their covenant God, 
for they had no longer any part or lot in 
the national theocracy. That establish 
ment with all its advantages belonged 
now exclusively to those who had been 
left in the land. They alone were in 
possession, and would admit of no com 
petitors. With those who were thus 
despised, and expelled not only by the 


Chaldeans, but by their own fellow-citi 
zens, Ezekiel was to consider himself as 
in the closest alliance. These, viewed 
as recovered from idolatory, he was to 
regard as, in a higher sense, his brethren 
and near relatives ; and not those only 
who had been carried away with him 
under Jehoiachin, but also the subjects 
of the former captivity. "pHX *] n n? 
is repeated to give force to the relation 
ship. These whom he was thus specially 
to regard as his brethren, "irs 5O h C3X , 
his kinsmen, and the whole house of Israel, 
are in apposition. They were all repu 
diated by the proud Jews in Jerusalem. 
It does not appear that the persons here 
referred to were related to Ezekiel as 
belonging to the priesthood, but are un 
derstood in a wider sense as his country 
men, endeared to him the more by their 
sufferings, and their reformation in the 
land of captivity. f*SO primarily sig 
nifies blood-relationship, including all 
whose blood, shed in murder, such rela 
tives were bound to avenge, and whose 
right of inheritance they were bound to 
vindicate. The connection shows that 
all the fellow-captives of the prophet 
were to be regarded by him as standing 
in such a near relationship. 

16. Ezekiel might well extend to them 
this regard, for though cast far off among 
the heathen, they were the objects of 
compassionate regard on the part of 
Jehovah himself. Though they had no 



[CHAP. XI. 16-20. 

fore say : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : I will yet gather you 
from the peoples and assemble you from the countries whither ye 
have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. 

18 And they shall come thither, and remove all its detestable things 

19 and all its abominations. And I will give them one heart, and 
will put within you a new spirit, and take away the heart of 

20 stone out of their flesh, and grant to them a heart of flesh : In 
order that they may walk in my statutes and observe my judg 
ments and do them ; and they shall be my people, and I will 

longer any access to the sanctuary at 
Jerusalem, lie promises to be a sanctuary 
to them in the lands of their captivity. 
Although, unquestionably, the term 
ti^p 1 ? is to be taken here, as in Isa. viii. 
14, in the sense of asylum, and the priv 
ilege of security is promised in contrast 
with the material temple at Jerusalem, 
in which the inhabitants trusted, but 
which, instead of affording them any 
protection, was itself to be destroyed by 
the Chaldeans, the Jews were at the 
same time taught, that the Divine pres 
ence was not confined to any earthly 
spot, but that in every place true worship 
would be acceptable to him. Having 
free access to their covenant God in the 
lands of their enemies, they should find 
in him an omnipotent defence against all 
evil. If they had learned their lesson 
well, they would have been prepared to 
welcome the new dispensation, the priv 
ileges of which were not to be restricted 
to their nation and country alone, but to 
be extended to all spiritual worshippers 
throughout the world. Mai. i. 11 ; John 
iv. 21-24. It was, however, a lesson 
hard for a Jew to learn ; and it required 
a second destruction of the material 
temple, by the Romans, to wean them in 
any degree from their restricted and nar 
row conceptions. E~P is here an Ad 
verb of time, signifying a little while, for 
a little, or the like. To express the idea 
of little, in the sense of small, the adjec 
tive "p-12 would have been required, but 
it would ill have suited the connection. 
How long soever the captivity might 
appear, they should experience it to be 

short, in the enjoyment of such a privi 
lege as having Jehovah for their Pro 
tector and Friend. 

17, 18. Though exiled in punishment 
of their national sins, the Jews were 
assuredly to be restored to their own 
land, when they should remove thence 
every vestige of idol-worship and serve 
Jehovah alone. Their absence was only 
to be temporary. 

19, 20. To prepare them for such a 
result, Jehovah promises to produce in 
them a spirit of devoted piety. Their 
heart was no longer to be divided between 
Jehovah and false gods, but was to be 
solely devoted to his service. ^HX ab , 
one heart. Compare the parallel promise, 
Jcr. xxxii. 39. Hitzig lamely endeavors 
to defend the reading "iHX ab , another 
Acorf, which is countenanced by the LXX. 
but is found in no Hebrew MS. This 
"one heart" is that of flesh tender, 
sensitive, and easily impressible by 
Divine truth, which is promised in the 
latter part of the verse : in contrast with 
that of stone, under the influence of 
which the Jews had obstinately resisted 
all the expostulations of the prophets, 
and stubbornly persevered in idolatrous 
practices, without feeling any compunc 
tious relcntings, or any desire to return 
to the service of Jehovah. Such a heart 
might well be called " V ? !! ^^ a new 
spirit, i.e. a new disposition, inclining its 
possessor to hate the sinful abominations 
in which he had formerly indulged, and 
to find delight in the right ways of the 
Lord. Compare Ps. li. 10. This change 
in all its completeness, involves the KCUV)] 

CHAP. XI. 20-25.] 



21 be their God. But as for those whose heart goeth after the 
heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will 

22 bring their way upon their head, saith the Lord Jehovah. And 
the cherubim lifted up their wings, and the wheels along with 
them ; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. 

23 And the glory of Jehovah ascended out of the midst of the city, 
and stood upon the mountain which was to the east of the city. 

24 Then the Spirit bore me up and brought me to Chaldea to the 
captives, in a vision through the Spirit of God ; and the vision 

25 which I had seen went up from me. And I told the captives all 
the things of Jehovah, which he had showed me. 

tcrlffis of the New Testament, a renova 
tion of the entire inner man, 2 Cor. v. 
17. Whether a change so radical and 
thorough-going was realized in the ex 
perience of the great body of the Jews 
before their return from Babylon, may 
fairly be questioned ; but that they ex 
perienced more or less of its subordinate 
stages, sufficiently powerful to induce 
them to abandon the worship of idols, 
and addict themselves exclusively to that 
of Jehovah, the exigency of the present 
passage in our prophet clearly demands. 
And this was sufficient to restore them 
to their outward relation as a people to 
God, while there was, as there has been 
in every age, " a remnant according to 
the election of grace," who realized the 
change in all its fulness. The passage 
unquestionably traces all that is good in 
man to Divine influence, to whatever ex 
tent or for whatever purpose that good 
is effected. 

21. A threatening denounced against 
the impenitent and incorrigible. 

22, 23. The Shechinah, which had 
moved from within the temple and taken 
its station at the east gate, chap. x. 4, 19, 
now removed to the Mount of Olives, 
as it were lingering and unwilling to 
abandon the devoted city, a command 
ing view of which was afforded by that 
elevation. Compare Zcch. xiv. 4. 

24, 25. Here closes the description of 
these wonderful visions. The prophet 
is conducted back to the Chebar in the 
same manner in which he had been con 
veyed to Jerusalem. No change had 
taken place in his relation to the out 
ward world ; but, while sitting quietly 
in his house, chap. viii. 1, his inner eye 
was supernaturally opened to behold the 
things contained in the intermediate 
chapters. He now communicated for 
the benefit of his fellow-captives what 
had been revealed to him. How calcu 
lated was the record to fill their minds 
with adoring views of the Divine Maj 
esty, and an utter abhorrence of every 
form of idolatry ! 

64 EZEKIEL. [CHAP. XII. 1-7. 


Still more to affoct the minds of his countrymen on the banks of the Chebar, and through 
them all in Judea with whom they might be in communication, Ezekiel is, in this chap 
ter, ordered to exhibit himself as a symbolical representation of persons going into 

After a description of the. obstinate rebelliousness of the Jewish people, 1, 2, he typically 
predicts the approaching total captivity of the inhabitants of Judea, 3-7; then plainly 
foretells the flight, capture, and sufferings of Zedeklah and his adherents, 8-16; portrays 
the consternation and desolation of his countrymen, 17-20; and concludes with an ex 
posure and refutation of the objections to his predictions by unbelieving scoffers, 21-28. 

1 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying : Son of man, 

2 thou dwellest in the midst of the rebellious house, who have 
eyes to see, but see not ; they have ears to hear, but hear not ; 

3 for they are a rebellious house. Thou, therefore, O Son of man, 
prepare thee articles for removal, and remove by day in their 
sight ; yea, remove from thy place to another place in their 
sight ; perhaps they may consider, though they are a rebellious 

4 house. And carry forth thy stuff by day in their sight, as stuff 
for removal ; and thou shalt go forth in the evening as captives 

5 go forth. Dig thee a hole in the wall in their sight, and go out 

6 through it. In their sight thou shalt carry it on thy shoulder in 
the dark : thou shalt carry it forth : thou shalt cover thy face, 
and shalt not see the ground ; for I have made thee a sign to 

7 the house of Israel. And I did as I was commanded : my stuff 
I took out as stuff of captives by day, and in the evening I dug 
me a hole in the wall with the hand : in the dark I conveyed it 

1,2. The period to which this chap- future, so that their rebellious disposition 

ter belongs being only the sixth year of was without excuse. Ezekiel was to class 

the captivity on the banks of the Chebar, together all such, both in and out of 

the change of circumstances had only Judea, and viewing himself as in the 

had time to operate partially on those midst of them, to discharge his prophetic 

who composed it. Too many of them office. For " n . 2 r^3 , compare chaps, ii. 

sympathized with the refractory spirit 5, 6 ; iii. 27 ; and for " l " 1 .52^ n*Q , chap, 

of their brethren in Jerusalem ; and like ii. 8. 

them, indulging the hope that the city 3-7. The simple announcements of the 

would not be taken, and that they would prophet having proved ineffectual, he 

speedily be restored to their own land, was commanded symbolically to furnish 

they rejected the prophetic messages, his countrymen with an ocular demon- 

Tlu y were naturally qualified, by the stration of the removal of those who had 

faculties with which God had endowed been left behind in Judea, in order, if 

them, to form a judgment from the begun possible, to lead them to reflection. He 

accomplishment of the Divine predic- was to furnish himself with H513 "OS , 

tions in their own experience, respect- articles for exile, such as persons in the 

ing their further accomplishment in the East select when migrating from one 

CHAP. XII. 7-12.] 



8 forth : I bore it on my shoulder in their sight. And the word 

9 of Jehovah came to me in the morning, saying : Son of man, do 
not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, say to thee : What 

10 art thou doing ? Say unto them : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : 
This oracle is the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of 

11 Israel who are in the midst of them. Say : I am your sign ; as 
I have done, so shall it be done to them ; they shall go into 

12 exile, into captivity. And the prince who is in the midst of 
them shall carry on his shoulder in the dark, and shall go forth ; 
they shall dig a hole in the wall to remove out through it ; he 
shall cover his face, so that he shall not see the country with his 

country to another, as a staff, victuals, 
water, cooking-utensils, clothing, cover 
lets, etc. There is no contradiction be 
tween the injunctions here laid upon 
Ezckiel ; first, that the transactions should 
take place by day, and then that they 
should be effected by night. Respect is 
had to the preparation which he was to 
make for departure, by collecting the 
articles together by day, and then to 
his actual departure by night. " XXI CS 
i~!3*5 , as the oufr/oinys of captives 
JixSa, the absolute singular, being used 
for the concrete in the plural. I cannot 
agree with Havernick and Fairbairn, 
that X2Ptt denotes the time of going 
forth. I do not find it thus used any 
where in the Hebrew Bible. The pas 
sages Dan. ix. 25 and Micah v. 1, to 
which Havernick appeals, give no coun 
tenance to such construction. In both 
places the ad, not the tune, of going forth, 
is expressed. The term ""1233? occurs 
only in verses 6, 7, 12, and Gen. xv. 17 ; 
but there is not a doubt that it denotes 

darkness. Arab, ^ , crassus est : by 

transposition JoLdfc , nubibits obduc- 
tum fuit ccelum. The prophet was to 
make his exit in the darkness of the 
night, with his face muffled, so that he 
should not see the country through 
which, or into which, he was passing. 

8-12. The actions of the prophet are 
supposed to have been productive of 
effect ; they had excited attention on the 

part of his fellow-captives. The typical 
representation of Ezekiel had a special 
reference to king Zedekiah. In the 
paronomasia NtZJSfl X^fcJSH , this is 
tersely expressed. The oracular saying 
had the monarch and his idolatrous sub 
jects for its theme. " This is " for " this 
betokens," as Matt. xxvi. 26. Though 
the king is not named, there could be no 
mistake as to who was meant. For the 
literal fulfilment of the prediction, see 
2 Kings xxv. 1-7 ; Jer. Hi. 1-11. The 
eyes of that monarch having been put 
out by the king of Babylon, he was de 
prived of the power of seeing the land 
whither he was carried into captivity. 
riSV2 , LXX. rt pos, a sign, wonder, 
portent, prodigy, an object foretokening 
good or ill. Compare chap. xxiv. 27 ; 
Zech. iii. 8. Such Ezekiel was consti 
tuted, in the latter acceptation ; and it 
was impossible seriously to contemplate 
his instructive conduct without forebod 
ing the calamity to which it pointed. 
According to a tradition in Joscphus, 
Antiq. lib. x. c. 7, the prophet sent a 
copy of his prediction to Zedekiah, who, 
imagining that he found a contradiction 
in this prophecy of Ezekiel to that of 
Jeremiah (xxiv. 8), resolved to believe 
neither ; but what truth there may be 
in it must be left undetermined. I see 
no sufficient reason to induce the con 
clusion that what is here recorded was 
done in vision, and not in real life. 
C SSX, ver. 14, corresponds to C^EIS, 


13 eyes. And I will spread my net over him, and he shall be 
taken in my snare, and I will bring him unto Babylon, the land 
of the Chaldeans, yet he shall not see it ; but he shall die there. 

14 And all his auxiliaries that are around him, and the wings of 
his army I will scatter to every wind ; and will draw out a 

15 sword after them. And they shall know that I am Jehovah, 
when I scatter them among the nations and disperse them among 

16 the countries. Yet I will leave of them those who shall be few 
in number, from the sword, from famine, and from pestilence, in 
order that they may declare all their abominations among the 
nations whither they shall come ; and they shall know that I 
am Jehovah. 

17 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying : Son of man, thou 

18 shalt eat thy bread with trembling and drink thy water with 

19 trepidation and solicitude. And thou shalt say to the people of 
the land : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah to the inhabitants of 
Jerusalem, to the land of Israel : They shall eat their bread with 
solicitude ; and drink their water with astonishment, that her 
land may be despoiled of its fulness by reason of the violence of 

20 all who dwell in it. And the cities that are inhabited shall be 
laid waste, and the land become a desolation ; and ye shall know 
that I am Jehovah. 

21 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying: Son of man, 

22 what proverb is this of yours respecting the land of Israel, say- 

23 ing : The days are prolonged and every vision faileth ? There 
fore say unto them : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : I will make 
this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb 
in Israel ; but say to them : The days draw near, and the matter 

Isa. viii. 8, and denotes the irinrjs of an the impression of the miserable results 

army, for the army itself. Compare of the Chaldean invasion, Ezekiel was to 

chap, xxxviii. 6. partake of his nourishment with signs of 

16. The scattering of the Jews among anxiety and trepidation. He thus served 

the heathen was intended, not merely to anew as a sign to the people, 

cure themselves of their propensity to 22. The infidel objection contained 

idolatry, but also to afford them oppor- in the end of this verse, had assumed the 

tunitics of bearing testimony against form of ^72 , a proverbial sayiny in the 

that evil as practised by those among mouth of the rebellious Jews. It was 

whom they lived. Compare Zech. viii. bandied about from one to another, the 

13 ; Isa. xliii. 8-13. They would trace contagion spreading as it circulated, to 

all the evils that had come upon them to the distress of the minds of the pious, 

their true source the adoption and while the ungodly were confirmed in 

practice of abominable idolatries. their unbelief of the Divine messages. 

17-20. With the view of deepening As day after day passed by, the scoffers 

CHAP. XIII. 1-2.] EZEKIEL. 67 

24 of every vision. For there shall no more be any vain vision or 

25 smooth divination in the midst of the children of Israel. For I, 
Jehovah, will speak the word which I shall speak, and it shall be 
performed : it shall not be deferred ; for in your days O rebel 
lious house, I will speak a word and perform it, saith the Lord 

26 Jehovah. And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying: 

27 Son of man, behold the house of Israel are saying : The vision 
which he seeth is for many days, and he prophesieth for distant 

28 times ; Therefore say unto them : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : 
None of my words shall any longer be deferred ; when I speak 
a word, it shall be performed, saith the Lord Jehovah. 

argued that the things seen in prophetic own land. Instead of 

visions would never be realized. Com- house of Israel, we have ^X^i : J") 133 , 

pare 2 Pet. iii. 3, 4. Thus it hath been children of Israel, in eleven codices, one 

in every age, and in none more than the in the margin and one at first hand; 

present. the edition of Manasseh ben Israel, Am- 

24. There is here a reference to the sterdam, 1630; with the Venetian edi- 

false prophets against whom Ezekiel is tions and all the versions. 
specially commissioned to prophesy in 26-28. A repetition, for the sake of 

the following chapter. CDpQ , divination, effect, of the matter contained in the 

from CD]5 , to practice divination by preceding verse. Those to whom the 

dividing by lot. The terms are used of prophet was to address himself were to 

false prophets, both among the heathen be assured that the calamity, however 

and the Hebrews. Those whom the apparently delayed, should most cer- 

prophet specially had in his eye were tainly be speedily inflicted. Jerusalem 

such as flattered his fellow-captives with was taken within five years after the 

the vain hope of a speedy return to their prophecy was delivered. 


Ezekiel is instructed specially to denounce the false prophets whom he had introduced to 
view towards the close of the preceding chapter, 1,2; he describes their character, 
8-9; points out the futility of their pretended vaticinations, and the destruction in 
which (hey would involve both themselves and the people, 10-16; he then denounces 
false prophetesses, who in like manner deceived the people, 17-23. 

1 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying : Son of man, 

2 prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy ; and say 
thou to those who prophesy out of their own heart : Hear ye 

2. The designation fc^aS , prophet, is reference to the latter, there is always, 
applied in Scripture both to the true and as in the present verse, something added, 
the pretended prophets. When used in which sufficiently marks the futility of 



[CHAP. XIII. 3-9. 

3 the word of Jehovah. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : "Woe to 
the foolish prophets who are following their own spirit, and have 

4 seen nothing. Thy prophets, O Israel, are like foxes in des- 

5 olated places. Ye have not gone up into the breaches, nor have 
ye built a wall about the children of Israel to stand in the battle 

6 in the day of Jehovah. They have seen vanity and lying div 
ination who say, "The oracle of Jehovah, " though Jehovah hath 
not sent them ; yet they have made men to hope that they would 

7 confirm the word. Is it not a vain vision which ye have seen, 
and a lying divination ye have spoken? Yet ye are saying, 

8 " The oracle of Jehovah," though I have not spoken. Wherefore 
thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Because ye have spoken vanity, 
and have seen lies, therefore, behold I am against you, is the 

9 oracle of the Lord Jehovah. And my hand shall be against the 
prophets who see vanity and divine lies ; they shall not be in the 
assembly of my people, and in the register of the house of Israel 
they shall not be registered ; neither shall they enter the land 
of Israel : and ye shall know that I am the Lord Jehovah. 

their claims. While the genuine mes 
sengers of Jehovah had unmistakingly 
their subjects communicated to them 
from without, and spoke as they wore 
moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Pet. i. 21), 
the false prophets merely gave utterance 
to what had originated in their own 

3. The vaticinations of these hollow 
pretenders had no higher origin than 
Cni") , their own corrupt disposition : 
the wish was father to the thought. 
Their visions were purely imaginary. 

4. The pretended prophets arc com 
pared to foxes ; not, as Bochart and 
some others interpret, because of their 
burrowing and undermining the walls 
of vineyards, but because of their crafty 
and voracious disposition. The animal 
had long been proverbial for these qual 
ities. Nor could any creature more aptly 
symbolize those insiduous and greedy 
upstarts who deceived the Jewish people. 
They appear, from the prophecies of 
Jeremiah, to have abounded at the time 
both in Judca and among the exiles. 
See chaps, xxvii. 9, 10; xxviii. 1 ; xxix. 
8, 9, 15-32. 

5-7. Instead of giving such counsel 
as might have tended to promote the true 
interests of the theocracy, and undo the 
mischief which had already overtaken 
it, they flattered the people with false 
hopes of security in Jerusalem. Un 
authorized by Jehovah, they had had 
the temerity to utter falshoods in his 
name. ^rP , they have made others to 
hope. This verb is not used in Kal, but 
in Piel, with a transitive and causative 
signification, as in Iliphil. 

9. As a just judgment upon them for 
their presumption, they arc threatened, 
not only with exclusion from all hope of 
ever occupying an honorable position in 
the government of the nation, but of 
having an existence under it as citizens. 
They should not even be ever after per 
mitted to enter the land of their fathers. 
"l"O , a council of judges and others, as 
sembled to consult on the national affairs. 
2T3 , a register, in which the names of 
the citizens were inscribed, and which 
was annually revised, when those who 
had died during the year had their names 
erased. Michaelis thinks the reference is 
rather to the genealogies ; and that the 

CHAP. XIII. 9-17.] 

E Z E K I E L . 


10 Because, even because they have seduced my people saying, 
" Peace," and there is no peace, and one buildeth up a wall and 

11 others plaster it with falsehood: Say to them that plaster with 
falsehood : It shall fall : there shall be a pouring rain and ye, O 

12 great hailstones, shall fall, and a storm-wind shall rend it. And 
behold, the wall shall fall. Shall it not be said unto you, Where 

13 is the plaster with which ye have plastered it ? Wherefore, 
thus saith the Lord Jehovah : I will even rend it with a storm- 
wind in my fury, and there shall be a pouring rain in mine 

14 anger, and great hailstones in wrath to consume it. And I will 
break down the wall which ye have plastered with falsehood, 
and I will bring it down to the ground, and its foundation shall 
be laid bare, and it shall fall, and ye shall perish in the midst of 

15 it ; and ye shall know that I am Jehovah. And I will spend 
my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have plastered it 
with falsehood, and will say unto you : The wall is no more, and 

1 6 they that plastered it are no more, the prophets of Israel, who 
prophesy to Jerusalem, and who see for her a vision of peace, 

threatening implies, that the persons 
against whom it is denounced, should 
have no descendants. 

10. "~?3 a "?? emphatically: because, 
even because. The pronoun j<*Pl is to be 
taken collectively of the class of persons 
spoken of in the immediately preceding 
context, and not without some tinge of 
contempt. Compare 2 Chron. xxviii. 22. 
Agreeably to this the pronominal suffix in 
CSH is to be similarly regarded as desig 
nating others of the false prophets. They 
were not satisfied with individual effort, 
but co-operated in their endeavors to 
delude the people. Alas ! how much of 
this has been realized in the professing 
church of Christ, as well as in the an 
cient church of Israel. While one party 
was busily engaged in building a wall, 
another was as busily occupied in whit 
ening it with whitewash, in order to give 
it a pleasing and imposing appearance. 

Compare Matt, xxiii. 29 : Acts xxiii. 3. 


?Sn , lime, plaster, or whitewash; H^B , 

to cover over with such material. 

11-16. The wall, with its builders and 
plasterers, should be involved in one uri- 

distinguishable mass of destruction. A 
severe hailstorm is one of the severest 
calamities with which Palestine is visited, 
and is employed figuratively to denote 
severe judgments Isa. xxviii. 2 ; xxx.30; 
Rev. xvi. 21. ^"O5^X is properly the 


retaining the form 

of the Article: LXX. \i8ovs irtrpofroXovs. 
fTi"^ p TOI , lit. a ivind of storms, a vio 
lent, tempestuous wind, which bears 
down all before it. f|2?i!J B^!? a pour- 
inn, inundating rain is equally destructive 
to buildings. While the hailstones break 
in pieces what they come in contact with, 
the rain, suddenly collected in rushing 
masses, washes away the foundations, 
and occasions the fall of the buildings. 
There is a singular force in personifying 
the hailstones, considering that some 
times they fall in size larger than an 
inch, and with a velocity of seventy feet 
a second, or Jibout fifty miles an hour, 
acquiring by this means a momentum 
which renders them awfully destructive. 
Compare Job xxxviii. 22, 23. 

17. Ezckiel is now commanded to 



[CHAP. XIII. 17-20. 

17 and there is no peace, saith the Lord Jehovah. Likewise, thou 
son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people 
who prophesy out of their own heart ; and prophesy against 

18 them, and say: Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Woe to the 
women that sew pillows for all elbows, and make cushions for 
the head of every stature, to lie in wait eagerly for souls : Will 
ye lie in wait eagerly for the souls of my people ? and will ye 

19 save alive the souls that come unto you? And will ye pollute 
me among my people for handfuls of barley, and morsels of 
bread, to put to death the souls that should not die, and to pre 
serve the souls that should not live, by your lying to my people 

20 who hear lies ? Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Behold, 
I am against your cushions with which ye there eagerly lie in 
wait for the souls to make them ily, and I will tear them from 
off your arms, and will set free the souls for which ye eagerly 

direct his oracular denunciation against 
the false prophetesses, who lent their aid 
in helping forward the delusions of the 
people. True female prophetesses were 
more rare among the Hehrcws. The 
only instances in which they occur in the 
history of that people, arc those of Mir 
iam, Dehorah, and Huldah. So impu 
dent were these female pretenders to in 
spiration, that Ezekiel was required to 
put on a stern countenance (~r.r9 E^ i), 
while he denounced the pernicious in 
fluence which they exerted over the 

18. nr<D3 occurs only here and ver. 
20, hut there can he no douht that it sig 
nifies pill oics, or cushions, covered with 
ornamental work, from "~!D3 , to cover. 
That these are intended, and not cover 
lets, appears from their being connected 
with C^n? "^ax, arm-joint*, or elbows. 
These, indeed, Gesenius interprets to 
mean knuckles ; but their being referred 
to the P""~iT , nrnia, vcr. 20, favors the 
opinion that joints higher up the arms 
arc meant. The LXX. supposing bol 
sters for the head to be intended, render 
irporrKf<f>a\aia : Vulg. pulvillos. " I) 1 is 
used by sj-ncopc for C^")] 1 , and synec- 

dochicallyfor rrhj. mnso?, LXX. 
tiri&6\aia, I take to mean coverlets or 

quilts, from HED , to spread, which, 
equally with cushions, form an essential 
part of oriental luxury. These were 
made to suit the rTClp , haiyht or size of 
the different persons who were to use 
them. LXX. HAirn a. The females in 
question not only employed flattering 
words to decoy the souls of the unwary, 
but, by their seductive speeches, lulled 
them as effectually as if they had literally 
prepared articles of luxury for their 
bodily repose, "TTS , the Pilpcl of 1^21 , 

Arab. OL-O , to hunt, catch, lay snares 

for taking wild animals. This conjuga 
tion, being reduplicate in form, is ex 
pressive of intensity, and thus indicates 
the eager and untiring efforts which the 
false prophetesses employed in endeavor 
ing to effect their purpose. So far should 
they be from preserving those who list 
ened to them, that they should be in 
strumental in bringing about their des 

19. The sordid, self-interested charac- 
tcrof these prophetesses is here distinctly 
set forth a character by which false 
teachers in every age have been distin 

20. Pl rHBP , to cause to Jly, is bor 
rowed from the practice of fowlers, who 

CHAP. XIV. 1-3.] 

E Z E K I E L . 


21 lie in wait, the souls to make them fly. And I will tear your 
cushions and rescue my people from your hand, and they shall 
no more be in your hand for a prey ; and ye shall know that I 

22 am Jehovah. Because with falsehood ye have made sad the 
heart of the righteous, which I have not made sad, and strength 
ened the hands of the wicked, that he should not turn from his 

23 wicked way to be preserved alive : Therefore ye shall not see 
vanity nor divine divination any more ; for I will rescue my 
people from your hand ; and ye shall know that I am Jehovah. 

disturb a covey of birds, not that they 
may fray them away, but that they may 
make them fly into the gins that they 
have set for them. LXX. els Staa-Kop- 

21. Irl"? > in your hand, i.e. in your 
power exposed to your influence. 

22. "1X3 signifies to be dejected, have 
the mind filled with despondency, and is 
synonymous with 2X3 . To witness the 
alluring arts of false teachers, and listen 
to their seductive doctrine, cannot but 

be a source of grief to every pious mind. 
While such teachers rob the people of 
God of that consolation which he hath 
purposed they should enjoy, they confirm 
the wicked in their rebellious practices 
by holding out to them hopes of immu 
nity from punishment. 

23. The Divine judgments should 
overtake these impudent pretenders to 
revelation, and thus put an end to their 
nefarious artifices, and their bad influ 
ence over the people. 


A company of official persons present themselves before Ezekiel under the hypocritical 
mask of religious inquirers,!; their character is described and their punishment threats 
ened, 2-5; they are called to repentance, and the sentence of their doom, if they should 
continue incorrigible, is repeated, 6-8 ; the punishment to be inflicted on the false proph 
ets is described, 9, 10; and its result, the recovery of the Jews to the service of the true 
God, 11; the unavailing intercession of the most eminent saints of God on behalf of tho 
impenitent is strongly and repeatedly asserted, 12-21; still a remnant should be left, 
who, recovered from idolatry, should testify to the rectitude of the Divine conduct, and 
experience the returning favor of their God, 22, 23. 

1 And there came to me men of the elders of Israel, and they sat 

1. The syntax of X13^ ; n the singu 
lar with O v w ;x in the plural is not ab 
horrent in Hebrew practice the num 
ber of the noun not necessarily having 
been determined, when the simple idea 
expressed by the verb first occurs to the 
mind. Some MSS., however, read 1X3*1 , 
which is the more correct orthography. 

X TJ ] , Israel, is here and throughout 
the chapter to be taken, not as designat 
ing the captivity of the ten tribes, but 
that of the Hebrews generally, with spe 
cial reference to those Jews who were 
located on the Che-bar. The C^DT , 
elders, were civil officers, who retained 
their office though in a state of exile, 


E Z E K I E L . 

[CHAP. XIV. 2-6. 

2 before me. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying : 

3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, 
and they have placed the stumbling-block of their iniquity before 

4 their face : Should I at all be inquired of by them ? AVherefore 
address them, and say unto them : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : 
Every man of the house of Israel who setteth up his idols in 
his heart, and who placeth the stumbling-block of his iniquity 
before his face, and cometh to the prophet, I, Jehovah, myself 
will answer him that cometh, according to the multitude of his 

5 idols : In order to take the house of Israel in their own heart, 
because they are all of them alienated from me through their 

the Jews still submitting to their author 
ity. What they wished to learn from 
the prophet, we are not informed ; most 
probably it related to the duration of the 
captivity, or to the fate of Jerusalem. 
That they were not actuated by any 
purely religious motive is manifest from 
the following verses. 

3. Whatever appearances these ciders 
might have assumed when they came to 
Kzekiel, he is divinely informed that they 
were purely hypocritical. Not only had 
the love of idolatry not been eradicated 
from their hearts ; they had not so much 

as put away their idols from their pres 
ence ; a striking type of their country 
men who still remained in Judca. 
laTnxfl , a form of the Infinitive Abso 
lute, with the interrogative <"} adopted to 
avoid the cacophony that would have 
been occasioned by writing Cl^n > 
which would have been the regular from 
of the Infinite. 

4. With such dissemblers Jehovah 
could have no fellowship, but, on the 
contrary, must spurn them from his 
presence with holy indignation. Com 
pare Ps. Ixvi. 18. ^-?3 in Kiphal dif 
fers here little from the signification in 
Kal, excepting that it conveys the idea 
of the action being more immediately 
performed by God himself, and so far 
retaining the reflexive force of that con 
jugation, as I myself, or the like. Instead 
of furnishing an answer by his prophet, 
he would himself give one by the actual 

infliction of the merited punishment. 
For "I3 some propose to point <^3 , 
and consider it to be anticipative of 3"Q 
following, as is common in the Aramaic 
dialects ; but to this construction it is 
objected, that there is a want of agree 
ment in gender, a l being masculine 
whereas pi2 is feminine. To obviate this 
objection, Ilit/ig unsatisfactorily pro 
poses to point nia in the masculine. I 
abide by the Keri which proposes N3, 
him that cometh. This reading, adopted 
by our translators, is found in the text 
of nine Ileb. MSS. and has originally 
been in seven more. The only difference 
lies in the exchange of n for x . The 
proposed reading 12 is without any au 

5. The meaning is, that Jehovah would 
come upon them while indulging in the 
idolatries on which their hearts where 
set. 232 il Sri , to take, in the heart, is 
otherwise an unusual mode of expression, 
but there seems no solid ground for the 
construction put upon it by Ilavernick, 
as if it referred to the working of a change 
in the dispositions of the Jews. All that 
it expresses is the certainty of the calam 
ity overtaking them while they were 
going on in their trespasses. 

6. The only way in which the Jews 
could expect the calamity to be averted 
or removed was by an entire renunciation 
of idols, and a sincere return to the ser 
vice of the true God. In ISiurrn told 
there is a combination of the Kal and 

CHAP. XIV. 6-11.] 




idols. Wherefore say unto the house of Israel : Thus saith the 
Lord Jehovah : Turn ye thoroughly from your idols and turn 
away your faces from all your abominations. For every man 
of the house of Israel, and of the stranger who sojourneth in 
Israel, and is alienated from me, and setteth up his idols in his 
heart, and placeth the stumbling-block of his iniquity before his 
face, and cometh to the prophet to inquire of me for himself, I, 
Jehovah, myself will answer him. And I will set my face, 
against that man, and will make him a sign and proverbs, and 
will cut him off from the midst of my people, and ye shall know 
that I am Jehovah. And as for the prophet who alloweth 
himself to be deceived, and uttereth a speech, I, Jehovah, have 
deceived that prophet, and I will stretch forth my hand against 
him, and destroy him from among my people Israel. And they 
shall bear the punishment of their iniquity ; according to the 
punishment of him that inquiretji shall be the punishment of the 

Hiphil conjugations for the sake of em 
phasis. Return unreservedly from your 
abominable idolatries. Be no longer 
estranged from me either in heart or 
practice. They were neither to hanker 
after in desire, nor look towards the 
accursed thing. 

7. The same judgment should over 
take the proselyte as the native Jew who 
indulged in idolatry, and hypocritically 
applied to a prophet for counsel. Com 
pare vcr. 4. Strangers were only legally 
tolerated in the land of the Hebrews on 
the condition that they worshipped no 
god, but Jehovah alone. Lev. xvii. 8, 9. 
" a j at the end of the verse, is emphatic, 
by myself, and may be regarded as an 
ellipsis of Tl~a~3 "Q , by myself have I 
sworn, as Gen. xxii. 16. The significa 
tion, obsccro, quceso, for which Gcsenius 
contends, however it may suit other pas 
sages, is not at all apt here. The occur 
rence of "O in the phrase ""a ^- 77 
to inquire of me, in the preceding sen 
tence, naturally leads to the construction 
which I have suggested, "ib refers to 
the applicant, not to S* n 23 , the prophet : 
who comes to a prophet for himself, for 
his own satisfaction, to inquire of me. 
The 3 marks here the Dat. commodi. 

8. The signal punishment to be in 
flicted, as denounced at the close of the 
previous verse. Instead of WVtynWSVj , 
/ irill destroy him, which is the current 
reading of the printed text, I prefer 
JirrrTS-rrn , / will set. or place him, 
which is that of Bombcrg s edition of 
1525. It may be regarded, indeed, as a 
mere conjectural emendation, but it is 
supported by all the ancient versions, 
and is more suitable to Hebrew usage. 

9. If matters should turn out differ 
ently from what the prophet expected 
and foretold, I have so ordered them in 
the course of my providence as to issue 
in such a result. It is the prerogative 
of Deity to control the sinful operations 
of created minds, without interfering 
with (Vce-iigency. Ou roivuv /car fvtpyftav 
a\\a Kara a \rfxjapt\aiv (Thcotiorct). 
See on Jcr. iv. 10. The prophet here 
referred to was a false, not a true prophet. 

10. C312 , their iniquity, i.e. the punish 
ment of their iniquity, as chap. iv. 4-6. 
The term is properly so rendered here 
in our common version. 

11. The result of such severe pun 
ishment would be the recovery of the 
Israelites from their addictcdncss to 
idolatry, to be again a holy people to 



XIV. 12-19. 

1 1 prophet ; That the house of Israel may no more go astray from 
me, and that they may no more defile themselves with all their 
transgressions, but may be my people and I may be their God, 
saith the Lord Jehovah. 

12 And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying: Son of man, when 

13 a land hath sinned against me by connniting a grevious trans 
gression, and I stretch forth my hand against it, and break its 
staff of bread, and send famine into it, and cut off man and beast 

14 from it; And though these three men were in the midst of it, 
Noah, Daniel, and Job, they should deliver their own souls by 

15 their righteousness, saith the Lord Jehovah. Should I cause 
wild beasts to pass through a land, and it is bereaved and becomes 
desolate, so that no one passeth through it because of the wild 

1C beasts; Though these three men were in the midst of it, as I 
live, saith the Lord Jehovah, they should deliver neither sons 
nor daughters ; they alone should be delivered, but the land 

Jehovah, who would then renew his 
ancient relationship to them as their 

12-21. " C S^wb to trespass a tns- 
jmss ; i.e. to commit an enormous tres 
pass. With manifest reference to Jer. 
xv. 1, the prophet is repeatedly in 
structed in these verses, that not only 
should the powerful intercessions of such 
eminent men as Moses and Samuel 
prove of no avail on hchalf of the Jew 
ish people, but that those of such right 
eous men as Noah, Daniel, and Job 
should prove equally fruitless. Highly 
as the personal righteousness of these 
three illustrious individuals was held in 
estimation by the Most High, there was 
no merit in it transferable to any of the 
guilty inhabitants of the land. Even 
Noah, on account of whose righteous 
character his family were saved along 
with him in the ark, should not now, 
were he alive upon the earth, be able to 
deliver cither sons or daughters, if they 
were found to have joined the rebellious. 
Every one should be treated on the 
ground of his own individual character. 
The prophet multiplies instances in or 
der to work a conviction in the minds 
of his countrymen of the enormity of 

their crimes. Daniel having been four 
teen years in Babylon at the time here 
referred to, must have been well known 
by i ame to the Jews of the captivity. 
His historical existence, as well as that 
of Job, is taken for granted, and can 
with no show of argument be denied any 
more than that of Noah. The chrono 
logical order of the names presents no 
difficulty. A similar inversion occurs 
Heb. xi. 32. Besides, as lliivernick ol>- 
servcs, there is a climax in the introduc 
tion of Job s name last, none of his sons 
or daughters having been saved for his 
sake, as appears so manifestly on the 
very face of the narrative, chap. i. Four 
of the greatest calamities that can befal 
a people arc hypothetical!)- threatened 
famine (ver. 13), wild beasts (ver. 15), 
war (ver. 17), and the plague (ver. 19), 
!~!*n , wild beasts, is used collectively. 

15. For ri~--2 J two of Kennicott s 
MSS. read frpbs i , in tlic first person. 
Thus also the LXX. Ttuwpriao/jiai ainriv. 

1C. ~X , if, an elliptical formula of 
swearing in Hebrew, having all the 
force of a negative. Compare Ps. xcv. 

19. C"12 is not to be rendered on uc- 
cmmt of blood, as Eosenmiiller proposes, 

CHAP. XIV. 19-23.] EZEKIEL. 75 

17 should be desolate. Or if I should bring a sword against that 
land, and should say, Sword, go through the land, and I should 

18 cut off man and beast from it ; And these three men were in the 
midst of it, as I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, they should deliver 
neither sons nor daughters, but they by themselves should be 

19 delivered. Or if I send a pestilence against that land, and pour 
out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off man and beast from it ; 

20 And Noah, Daniel, and Job were in the midst of it, as I live, 
saith the Lord Jehovah, they should deliver neither son nor 
daughter ; they by their righteousness should deliver their own 

21 souls. For thus saith the Lord Jehovah : How much more 
when I send against Jerusalem my four calamitous judgments, 
the sword, and the famine, and the wild beasts, and the pesti- 

22 lence, to cut off from her man and beast ! Yet behold, there 
shall be left in her those that escape, who shall be brought out, 
sons and daughters : behold, they shall go forth to you, and ye 
shall see their way and their doings, and ye shall be comforted 
concerning the evil which I have brought upon Jerusalem, all 

23 that I have brought upon it. And they shall comfort you, when 
ye shall see their way and their doings ; and ye shall know that 
it is not for nothing that I have done all that I have done in it, 
saith the Lord Jehovah 

but in blood: the judgment was to con- were reformed Jews, upon whom the 

sist in the shedding of blood by war. capture of Jerusalem bad produced a 

21. h 3 V|5< , qnanto mat/is, is strongly beneficial moral effect. "Their ways 
affirmative of a proceeding on the part and their doings " were not those by 
of Jehovah, in accordance with the in- which they had provoked the Lord to 
stances cited in the preceding verses. punish the nation, but the fruits of 

22, 23. C^NS Sf], those who shall be righteousness the good works to the 
brought out, made to escape the entire practice of which they had been rccov- 
destruction of the city. The participle crcd by the severe discipline through 
is not to be read actively n^SOSIBn , the course of which they had been 
as Iloubigant proposes and Ncwcomc brought. While they justified God in 
adopts. I cannot find, with Calvin, all the calamities which he had inflicted 
Havernick, and Fairbairn, that these upon them, their being spared was a 
verses contain a threatening, and not a proof of his great mercy, and a pledge 
promise. Whenever a remnant is spoken that, if their brethren in the captivity 
of as being left, in antithesis with what followed their example, by renouncing 
goes before, it is always in mercy, never idolatry, they also should be dealt with 
in judgment. The persons spoken of, in mercy. 



CHAP. XV. 1-8. 


The object of this short chapter, which is evidently introductory to the following, is to set 
forth the worthlessness and, by implication, the wickedness of the Jewish people. It 
consists of two parts, the parable, 1-5; and its application, &-8. 

1 AND the word of Jehovah came to me, saying : Son of man, what 

2 is the wood of the vine more than any other wood ? the shoot 

3 that is amono- the trees of the forest ? Shall wood of it be taken 


to make any work ? Will men take a peg of it to hang any 

4 vessel on ? Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel ; the fire 
devoureth both the ends of it, the midst of it also is burned. 

5 Should it be fit for any work ? Ik-hold, when it was whole it 
was not made into any work : how much less when fire hath 
devoured it, and it is burned, should it be made into any work ? 

6 Wherefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah : As the wood of the 
vine is among the trees of the forest, which I have appointed 
to the fire for fuel, so have I appointed the inhabitants of Jeru- 

7 salem. Yea, I have set my face against them : they shall go 
out of one fire, but another fire shall consume them ; and ye 
shall know that I am Jehovah, when I set my face against them. 

1-3. Teaching 1 by similes drawn from 
nature, when judiciously conducted, pos 
sesses great beauty and force. The in 
stance before us is eminently clear, sim 
ple, and appropriate. The point of 
comparison does not lie in the fruit, but 
simply in the wood of the vine. Al 
though sometimes of considerable girth 
at the stem, yet generally the vine is 
small, and its branches consist of soft 
and brittle tendrils, carried along the 
face of a wall, or left to trail on the 
ground. They are, as here represented, 
totally unfit to be formed into any kind 
of instrument, or appropriated to useful 
purposes, as the wood of other trees may 
be. i~Hl.Yn is in apposition with *f?. 
The question is understood to be re 
peated : What is the shoot more than 
that of any other tree in the forest ? 
ir? , a large wooden peg or pin, which 
the Orientals fix inside the walls of their 
houses for the purpose of hanging upon 
it household articles in constant use. 

See on Isa. xxii. 23-25. The fire nat 
urally attacks the ends of a piece of 
wood first, and then advances to the 
middle, burning till the whole be con 
sumed. If unfit for any purpose before 
it was cast into the fire, how much more 
so when consumed ? ^3 ~X > ijnanto 
minus, here, in a negative proposition. 
It is questionable whether the two ends 
are to be pressed, and madu to symbolize 
the extremities of the Hebrew people 
the northern kingdom carried into cap 
tivity by Tiglath-pilcscr, and the south 
ern by Nebuchadnezzar, the middle 
marking out Jerusalem. 

G-8. After a brief repetition of the 
comparison, the parable is directly ap 
plied to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, 
or the Jewish state, represented by that 
city, "j 7 "? is to be taken as a collective 

noun. Three MSS. read 

in the 

plural ; and thus all the ancient versions. 
CXrv ... CNn , the fire and thejire, is 
properly translated "one fire and another 

CHAP. XVI. 2, 3.] 



8 I will also make the land desolate, because they have committed 
a grievous transgression saith the Lord Jehovah. 

fire." The Jews having utterly failed to succession, till the dross of their idolatry 

answer the Divine purpose in selecting 
them to be witnesses for Jehovah in the 
midst of the heathen, they were to be 
completely broken up as a nation, and 
punished by severe and fiery trials in 

was purged away. When a professing 
people act unworthily of their calling, 
they are only fit to be rejected. Compare 
Matt. iii. 10 ; v. 13. 


In an allegory of great length and minute detail, the prophet is commissioned to exhibit 
the positive side of the picture, which he had negatively held up to view in the previous 
chapter. In a striking poetical prosopopoeia, Jerusalem is introduced as a new-born 
female exposed at her birth, 1-5; but mercifully taken by Jehovah under his protection, 
and, when grown up to womanhood, joined to him by a matrimonial covenant, and pro 
vided with everything that might set off her beauty, and minister to her comfort, 6-14. 
She afterwards becomes an adultress, and indulges in the grossest pollutions, 15-34. 
Merited punishment is then denounced against her, 35-43; in aggravation of the mon 
strous character of her lewdness, it is portrayed as incomparably greater than that 
of any of her neighbors, 44-59. The allegory concludes with a gracious promise of res 
toration, 60-03. How abhorrent or indelicate soever certain parts of the imagery may 
be to our more refined feelings, they are admirably adapted to the subject, and quite in 
keeping with the greater freedom in modes of speech which have always obtained 
among natives of the East. The pious mind will instinctively recoil from dwelling upon 
any improper ideas which they may be supposed to suggest. 

1 AGAIN the word of the Lord came unto me, saying : Son of man, 

2 cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, And say : Thus saith 

3 the Lord Jehovah unto Jerusalem : Thy origin and thy nativity 
were of the land of the Canaariite ; thy father was an Amorite, 

2, 3. Jerusalem is the symbolical rep 
resentative of the Jewish people, or the 
kingdom of Judah. In order to prepare 
the minds of the Jews for the very 
humiliating picture about to be exhib 
ited of their national degradation, they 
arc first of all reminded of their Canaan- 
itish origin. It is, however, rather the 
character of the inhabitants of Canaan 
than the country itself that is meant. 
Compare Zeph. i. 11 ; Zech. xiv. 21. As 
neither Abraham nor Sarah was de 
scended from the tribes here specified, 
but were Aramaeans, it is evident the 
reference must be to Jerusalem as origi- 

nally inhabited by the Jebusites,who were 
more or less mixed up with the neigh 
boring Amorites and Hittitcs. Comp. 
Numb. xiii. 29. In idolatry they were 
one ; and in this respect furnished ap 
propriate types of the Jewish inhabitants 
in after times, when they had apostatized 
from the worship of the true God. The 
iniquity of the Amorites is specially 
marked, Gen. xv. 16 ; and the family of 
Ilcth is likewise mentioned with disap 
probation, chap, xxvii. 46. The differ 
ence between T^n M an( i r ^v B s 
scarcely perceptible. They are merely 
synonymcs expressive of nativity or birth. 


E Z I-] K I E L . 

[CHAP. XVI. 3-6. 

and thy mother a Ilittite. And as for thy birth, in the day 
when thou wast born, thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou 
washed with water for purifieution, nor rubbed at all with salt, 
neither swaddled at all. No eye pitied thee to do any of these 
things unto thee, to compassionate thee, but thou wast cast out 
into the open field in the loathing of thy person on the day when 

The prefix & is not necessarily indica 
tive of locality, which is the idea adopted 
by Gcsenius and some other Hebraists, 
but is a simple formative, as in "E 1 " 2 , 
" I "= r :"5 > "i-^ and the like. The dis 
tinction in.ide by Iliivcrnick, who inter 
prets !"H" by Zeugungsort, and I"l""2 
by Geburtsort, is quite an unnecessary 
refinement. The plural form in Loth 
cases is against the interpretation. That 
the former noun, however, is derived from 
*"l"3 , to d uj, seems the best established 

4. Reverting to the earliest history of 
Jerusalem, the city being put for the 
inhabitants, the prophet exhibits her as 
a female infant cruelly neglected with 
respect to the performance of those 
offices which it requires on first coming 
into the world. 7(^"X ""f^"* the pas 
sive is here, as usual, construed with the 
accusative. Comp. Gen. xl. 20; IIos. 
ii. 5. The historical circumstances allc- 
gorically alluded to are those of the 
Hebrews in Egypt, where they were ex 
posed to every species of cruelty. Tiv- 
vi\aiv 5e aurjjy Ka\6? rr/v (| Alyvirrou 
fooov (Thcodorct). *ifcj , the umbilical 
cord or navel-string, which requires to be 
cut at the birth of the infant. Root 
"Hd, to bind, ticist, etc. This, with the 
other terms here employed, presupposes 
some acquaintance with the obstetric art 
in the ngc of our prophet. The next 
circumstance adverted to is the washing 
with water, for the purpose of removing 
all impurities attaching to the surface 
of the body. " ""Es , for purification. 

Comp. for derivation the Arab. ,**M-2 . 

v. conjug. removit a se noxam vt-l potius 
carports inquinamentum, and the Syr. 

5 spkndidum fuel ens. TheLXX. 

must have, understood the word in this 
light, since they have left it altogether 
untranslated, supposing that the idea 
was sufficiently expressed by e A.ou<r07j?, 
by which they had rendered tjl?n7l . 
The Targum, as read by Abulwalid, 
^7~ ^T 1 > ( d namdandum; by Jarehi, 
n"i:r;^;> , for brightness. This derivation 
seems preferable to that adopted by 
Gcsenius, who refers the word to the root 
!"ir w , to lank, n\w, and supposes the 
meaning to have respect to the presen 
tation of a new-born infant,when washed, 
to the parents or others. This interpre 
tation, however applicable to the circum 
stances of the ease, and however it may 
seem to relieve the etymological diffi 
culty, is less natural than that above 
suggested. For the form and punctua 
tion, compare ^")? That it was cus 
tomary in ancient times to rub the bodies 
of new-born children with salt, for the 
purpose of hardening the skin, appears 
from Galen, DC Sanit. i. 7 : Sale modico 
inspcrso eutis inlands densior solidiorquc 

5. The infant is supposed to have been 
entirely neglected, and pitilessly thrown 
down in the open field, exposed to the 
elements or to wild beasts. The expo 
sure of infants was a practice very com 
mon in ancient times. Ti r E- ?-"3 > 
in t/if loathimj of thy person, is to be taken 
objectively, with reference to the abhor 
rent aspect of the infant thus exposed to 
view. Such was the primitive condition 
of the Hebrew people, when in Egypt. 

G. Jehovah here represents himself as 
a traveller who, on passing by, discovers 
the unsightly and pitiable object which 

CHAP. XVI. 6-8.] 

E Z E K I E L . 


6 thou wast born. Then I passed by thee, and saw thee sprawling 
in thy blood, and I said to thee in thy blood, Live ; yea I said to 

7 thee in thy blood, Live. I made thee to increase by thousands 
as the sproutings of the field, and thou didst increase and become 
great, and earnest with most splendid ornaments ; thy breasts 
were formed, and thy hair was grown, whereas thou hadst been 

8 naked and bare. And I passed by thee, and saw thee, and, be 
hold, thy time was a time of love ; and I spread my skirt over 
thee, and covered thy nakedness, and sware unto thee, and 
entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord Jehovah, and 

had just been described, and intcqioscs 
for its rescue. Notwithstanding its pol 
lution, he takes compassion upon it, and 
saves its life. rCD Srva may most ap 
propriately be rendered by spraicling, as 
expressive of the convulsive struggles 
and contortions of a child endeavoring 
to move from a disagreeable situation. 
The word is derived from D"3 , to tram 
ple, stamp with the feet, kick. The form 
in Hithpacl, is active and reflexive 
not passive, as Gcscnius interprets. In 
this miserable and helpless condition 
Jehovah found the Hebrews in the land 
of bondage. Extending the principle 
involved in the figure beyond the direct 
teaching of the text, it is strikingly 
descriptive of the condition of sinners 
previous to conversion. As Calvin ob 
serves, till they feel this to be the state 
to which they are reduced, they will 
never appreciate the provisions of mercy. 
Houbigant rejects the last clause of the 
verse, on the ground of its having been 
omitted in the LXX., Syr., and Arab. ; 
but there is a singular force in the repe 
tition, of which even Ilitzig approves. 

7. This verse describes the change 
which took place in consequence of the 
Divine interposition. Instead of being 
left to pine away and become extinct in 
Egypt, the Hebrews grew and increased 
in number, and were made to appear 
beauteous in their civil and religious 
polity. Instead of C^ d , breasts, one of 
Kennicott s MSS. and another originally 
read Tj H^r > % breasts, and thus the 
LXX., the Teshito Syr., the Hcxap. 

Syr., the Arab, and the Vulgate. 
a myriad, ten thousand ; often used for 
any great indefinite number. I made 
thee to increase by thousands, as the 
productions of the field. ri"2S is used as 
a collective. Root rrX , to sprout, spring 
up. The metaphor is still continued, 
representing the infant growing up to 
womanhood, and exhibiting unmistake- 
able signs of puberty. G n ^7? " I?? 
taking the former of the two words col 
lectively, ornaments of ornaments, i.e. as 
a superlative of intensity, most splendid 
ornaments. The constructions put upon 
"H?. by Grotius, Havcrnick, and Ilitzig 
arc complete failures. The LXX. ir6\fts 
ir6\fuv, as if they had read C" 1 ."? "^5 
3 X"2 , to come with anything. I can 
not agree withFairbairn that ~"" 1 .?1 E"13J 
naked and bare, is to be regarded as con 
temporaneous with the prosperous con 
dition just described. Our translators 
very properly place the states in contrast, 
rendering 1 by " whereas." Compare 
IIos. ii. 3. In f ?"!<1 C" 1 ? we have the 
abstract for the concrete, in order to give 
greater force to the language, ft"^.? 
though derived from the same root as 
"V".? > }" ct nerc simply signifies nude, 
bare, whereas the latter has always the 
superaddcd idea of obscenity, or shame. 
It is not unusual for female children 
among the Bedowins to grow up with 
out wearing any clothing ; and, being 
common, it is not accompanied with any 
feeling of impropriety. 

8. A resumption of the declaration 
made at the commencement of verse 6. 



[CHAP. XVI. 8-10. 

9 thou becamcst mine. Then I washed thee with water, and 
thoroughly cleansed thy blood from thee, and anointed thee with 

10 oil. And I clothed thee with embroidered cloth, and shod thee 
with shoes of seal-skin, and bound thee round with a turban of 

11 byssus, and covered thee with silk. And I made thee most 
beautiful, and put bracelets on thy arms, and a chain on thy neck, 

The same act is referred to. Unsightly 
and loathsome as the Hebrew people 
were in themselves, and thus calculated 
to excite disgust rather than to attract, 
they nevertheless were the objects of the 
Divine love, which regarded them as 
those whom it was the purpose of Jeho 
vah to deliver, beautify and foster. Dent, 
iv. 37; vii. 9-1.3; x. 15; IIos. xi. 1. 
D" 1 *] 1 ! r> , a time of loves, i.e. not, when 
thou wast marriageable, as Roscnmiillcr 
and Gescnius interpret, but, when thou 
wast an object of aiVcction. There was 
nothing in Israel that was lovely. It 
was all pure affection 0:1 the part of Je 
hovah. The advance in the allegory is 
now to that of the espousals. To be 
token this ~S "? > the spreading of the 
skirt or flap of the coverlet is introduced. 
That this is the meaning, with reference 
to matrimonial cohabitation, is evident 
from Ruth iii. 9. Similar phraseology 
with like reference occurs in the Greek 
classics, as quoted by Rosenmiillcr. Thus 
Theocritus, Idyll, xviii. 19 : 
Zav6s rot 6vydrrjp virb rav ^.(a.v &x fTO 

X.Xa ivav. 
and Euripides : 

Orav UTT* avSpbs xX c " vav tv~yffovs ire crrjs. 
Reference to simple protection, alleging 
in proof Dent, xxxiii. 12, as some have 
done, is out of the question. All that 
the Orientals wear over them at night is 
a quilt or coverlet, or, when travelling, 
the cloak which they have worn during 
the day. Hence, in the language of the 
Hebrews, to uncover the nakedness of a 
person means to throw back such a cov 
erlet with a view to unlawful or incestu 
ous union, Lev. xviii. There is in this 
verse an obvious reference to the solemn 
transactions at Sinai, when Jehovah en 

tered into covenant with the Hebrews, 
thereby contracting as it were a conjugal 
relation, by which he pledged himself to 
love, provide for, and protect them ; 
while they came under an obligation to 
love, worship, and obey Him to the ex 
clusion of every rival god. Hence, as it 
follows in the sequel, and so frequently 
in the Old Testament, idolatry is repre 
sented as spiritual adultery, the nation 
thereby being guilty of a breach of the 
marriage covenant. 

9. There seems hereto be reference to 
a custom prevalent in the East of wash 
ing the bride in the bath, anointing her 
with oil, and adorning her with orna 
ments, previous to the celebration of the 
marriage ceremony ( Esther ii. 9-12). The 
E""? !! blood, here mentioned is not that 
of the menstrual discharge, as Roscn- 
miillcr interprets, but that mentioned 
verse 6. The Israelites underwent a 
thorough purification before they entered 
into the covenant, Exod. xix. 14. Com 
pare Jer. ii. 2, .3. They were designed 
to be a holy people to the Lord. 

10. flOpp"!, embroidered cloth, compare 
^ ^IT^ 1 >S - xlv. 15, and the Arab. 
rt-Sp 5 by which is meant cloth of vcrsi- 

color, richly intersticed with threads of 
gold. "nn , a kind of skin, used by the 
Hebrews to make an over-covering to 
the tabernacle, Exod. xxvi. 14, and, as 
appears from the present verse, used also 
for shoes ; but of what particular ani 
mal, has been disputed. The most prob 
able opinion is, that the seal is intended. 
Sec Gesenius in voc., and Winer s Rcal- 
wortcrbuch, ii. 595. CJ , byssm, fine 
cotton cloth, such as was anciently pre 
pared in Egypt. h ^ , silk, garments 
prepared of this material. 

CHAP. XVI. 11-15.] 



1 2 and I put a ring in thy nose, and rings in thine ears, and a crown 

13 of beauty on thy head. And thou wast adorned with gold and 
silver, and thy garments were of byssus and silk and embroidery ; 
thou didst eat flour and honey and oil ; and thou wast exceedingly 

14 beautiful, and didst prosper into a kingdom. And thy fame went 
forth among the nations on account of thy beauty, for it was 
perfect through my splendor which I put upon thee, saith the 
Lord Jehovah. 

15 But thou trustedst in thy beauty, and didst commit lewdnesa 

through thy fame, and didst pour out thy lewdness to every one 

11, 12. For most of those female orna 
ments, -see my Comment on Isa. iii. 
18-23. It must appear strange that 
our translators should have rendered 
T(QX~P> CT3 , a jewel on thy forehead. 
El? properly means a ring, and denotes 
either such as was worn in the nose, 
which is still common in the East, or 
such as is worn in the ears. The addi 
tion of 7i?X t!iy nose, shows that the 
former is meant in the present instance ; 
the term, ClX , though sometimes used 
for the countenance or face in general, 
is never employed to denote the forehead, 
but is strictly and properly the nose. 
What has lead to the mistake, has been 
the too close adherence to the common 
signification of ^2 , upon, whereas it also 
admits in certain instances of being ren 
dered in. C^b^SS, rings, so called from 
their circular form, from ^32 , to turn 
round, be round (Numb. xxxi. 50). 

13, 14. Through the Divine goodness 
the Hebrew people were most abundan tly 
supplied with everything requisite both 
for use and ornament. Their riches and 
splendor far surpassed those of any other 
nation. As a kingdom theirs was dis- 
tinguishingly flourishing in the days of 
David and Solomon, the former of which 
monarch* greatly extended its boun 
daries, and enriched it with the spoils 
of his victories. The theocracy then 
reached its highest point of glory, and 
was of great celebrity among the sur 
rounding nations (1 Kings x). Still 
they arc reminded that their prosperity 

and glory were not owing to any merit 
of their own. It was a " comeliness " 
which Jehovah, their covenant God, had 
put upon them. To his unmerited 
bounty they owed all that they enjoyed. 
The Yod in *U i> and ^nx is redun 
dant, and is therefore left unpointed. 

15. Beauty often proves a snare to 
those who possess it. Listening to flat 
tery, they are easily drawn into the trap 
that is laid for them. The Jews were 
proud of their endowments, and forget- 
ing Him by whom these had been be 
stowed, they transferred their affections 
to other gods, and thus became guilty of 
conjugal, infidelity. Ti 1 -? ^ ^? > rendered 
by some after the Vulgate : contra nomen 
tuum, supposing the meaning to be, that 
as a wife is called by the name of her 
husband, and that as adultery is an act 
committed against him whose name she 
bears, so the idolatries of the Hebrews 
were to be viewed in reference to the 
sacred name of Jehovah their God. 
Since, however, CTIJ is often used in tho 
acceptation fame, renown, celebrity, it 
seems more natural to take it in this 
sense here, and to render 22, propter,on 
account of; teaching, that the Jews had 
employed the renown which through the 
Divine goodness they had acquired, as 
a means of seducing neighboring nations 
to commit spiritual fornication The 
proposed rendering of Manger, " not 
withstanding thy renown," is not to be 
approved. The term P 3Tn , lewdness, 
fornication, used of idol-worship, is pecu- 



[CHAP. XVI. 16-21. 

16 that passed by ; his it was. And thou didst take of thy garments 
and make for thyself patched high places, and thou committedst 
lewdness upon them, such as never had been and never shall be. 

17 Yea, thou didst take of thy beautiful jewels of my gold and my 
silver, which I had given thec, and didst make for thyself images 

18 of men, and committedst lewdness with them. And didst take 
the garments of thine embroidery, and didst cover them ; and 

19 my oil and my incense thou didst place before them. Yea, my 
meat which I gave thee, the flour and oil and honey with which 
I fed thee, thou didst place before them for a sweet odor : and 

20 it took place, saith the Lord Jehovah. And thou didst take 
thy sons and thy daughters, which thou didst bear unto me. 

21 and didst sacrifice them to them for food. Were thy lewdnesses 
a small matter, that thou didst sacrifice my children, and deliver 

22 them up to cause them to pass through the fire to them ? And 
with all thine abominations and thy lewdnesses, thou remember- 
edst not the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, 

liar to Ezckicl. T|"S*, thy beauty, 
though somewhat distant, is unquestion 
ably the nominative to VH"!? , his it 

1C. nijt^B ni ra , patched Iii<jh places, 
spoken contemptuously of the temples 
erected in honor of Astarte, for adorn 
ing which the Jewish females wove hang 
ings, 2 Kings xxiii. 7. LXX. f SwAo 
0a7rTci. n-rn xb 1 ] n\X3 xb elliptic-ally 

for f^rr &>1 n*:xa a& T nbxs , the nice 

things ]ive not route, nor shall there, be. So 
atrocious was the conduct of God s an 
cient people when they apostatized from 
him. It was altogether unparalleled in 
the past, as it should be in the future. 

17-21. Jehovah asserts his propriety 
in all the objects which apostate Judah 
employed in the service of idols. He 
had bestowed them upon her to be ap 
propriated for his glory, but she had 
wickedly prostituted them to his dis 
honor. By ""CT *i,-^, images of men, 
Scholz and Ilavemick understand what 
were worshipped in the idolatrous ser 
vice of phallus, or the membrum virile, 
which the Egyptians regarded as the 
emblem of fecundity, and which is still 
licentiously worshipped by the Hindoos 

under the name of linyam. If such be 
the meaning, as probably it is, this is 
the only passage in which any allusion is 
made to such abomination in the Bible. 

Compare the Arab. r)i membrum yeni- 

tale marts, penis, rc-retrum, Kamoos. Not 
only the superfluities of luxury, but the 
productions of nature necessary for the 
sustenance of life, and the very children, 
were devoted to the idols. Such prac 
tices, common in the pagan world, were 
equally in vogue among the Jews in the 
worst periods of their history. For the 
burning of children in honor of Moloch, 
see Dcut. xviii. 10 ; Ps. cvi. 37 ; Jcr. vii. 
31 ; xix. 5. That the phrase ^"^l 
CX3 , to cause to pass through the fire, ac 
tually means to burn, and not, as the 
Rabbins would have it, that the Jews 
merely made the children to pass through 
the fire, uninjured, as an act of lustra 
tion, sec Gcsenius, Heb. Lex. Artie. 
*CS , Iliph. 4. To such an extreme 
of cruelty will men, from a conscious 
ness of guilt, proceed, with the view of 
propitiating the Deity. Comp. Mieah 
vi. 7. The barbarous and most unnat 
ural practice of sacrificing children to 

CHAP. XVI. 21-30.] 



23 sprawling in thy blood. And it came to pass after all thy wick- 

24 edness woe, woe to thee, saith the Lord Jehovah Thou 
didst build a brothel and make for thyself a high place in every 

25 street. At the head of every road thou didst build thy high 
place, and cause thy beauty to be abhorred, and didst open thy 
feet to every one that passed by, and multiply thy lewdnesses. 

26 Thou didst also commit lewdness with the Egyptians thy neigh 
bors, great of flesh, and multiply thy lewdness to provoke me 

27 to anger. And behold, I stretched my hand over thee, and 
withheld thine allowance, and delivered thee to the will of them 
that hated thee, the daughters of the Philistines who were 

28 ashamed at thy atrocious way. And thou didst commit lewd- 
ness with the sons of Assyria, because thou wast insatiable, yea, 
thou didst commit lewdness with them, but wast not satisfied. 

29 Thou didst also multiply thy lewdness with the land of Canaan, 

30 unto Chaldea, yet even with this thou wast not satisfied. How 
withered is thine heart, saith the Lord Jehovah, since thou doest 

idols was specially prevalent among the 
Phoenicians. The more aggravated forms 
of idolatry are here charged upon the 
elect but apostate nation. 

22-27. When the Jews knew God, 
they glorified him not as God, neither 
were thankful, and in this respect re 
sembled other idolaters (Horn. i. 21). 
Forgetfulncss of God and his benefits is 
the source of all other sins. The Jews 
became most inordinate in idolatrous in 
dulgences. They set no bounds to their 
lust. 2S (verse 24), LXX. ofcijua irop- 
VIK.&V, a fornix, vault, brothel, place of 
prostitution : used tropically for an 
idol-temple. So shameless did they be 
come that their beauty, instead of attract 
ing paramours, filled them with disgust. 
}TC^ , an derated place, equivalent to 
fly 3 , so often used in reference to places 
of idolatrous worship. "C2 ""bi; , 
(vcr. 26), an euphemism to express the 
enormity of Egyptian idolatry. The 
idolatries of the Egyptians were of the 
grossest and most multifarious kinds. 
Compare chap, xxiii. 20. I cannot 
agree with Calvin and Fairbairn that 
political alliances, and not idolatries, are 
here intended. The connection is deci- 

dedly against such a construction. They 
were indeed much mixed up with each 
other, and the one naturally led to the 
other, but the grosser of the two evils 
is here specifically referred to. ni53 
CTlll bsi , daughters of the Philistines, their 
descendants, or the inhabitants of the 
country of the Philistines, who were 
ever the indomitable enemies of the Jews. 
Even these, idolatrous though they were, 
could not endure the licentiousness of 
the Jewish nation. They were contented 
with their own idols, and not adopting, 
like the Jews, those of every other 
country, consequently despised that peo 
ple for their exorbitancy. 

28, 29. Not satisfied with adopting 
the idolatries of Egypt, the Jews prac 
tised those of the more distant Assyr 
ians and Babylonians. They were per 
fectly insatiable in their lust. Their 
idolatry was an amalgamation of all the 
different forms which obtained in the 
countries around them. 

30. The influence of sin on the soul is 
to render it morally impotent. Though 
it may not deprive it of the powers 
which are requisite to constitute man a 
responsible agent, it weakens his princi- 


[CuAr. XVI. 30-43. 


31 all these things the work of a self-willed adultress. In that 
thou bulkiest thy brothel at the head of every road, and construct- 
est thy high place in every street, and wast not as a harlot, 
scorning hire. An adultress under her husband, thou didst re 
ceive strangers. They give a present to all whores, but thou 
givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and barest them to come to thee 
from every side to thy lewdnesses. And there was in thee the 
contrary of women in thy lewdnesses, in that none followed thee 
and in that thou gavest a present, and no present was given to 
thee : in this thou wast contrary. 

35 Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of Jehovah. Thus saith the 

36 Lord Jehovah : Because thy copper is poured out, and thy naked 
ness is discovered, through thy lewdnesses with thy lovers, and 
with all thine abominable idols, and through the blood of thy 
children which thou didst give to them ; Therefore, behold, I 
will collect all thy lovers to whom thou hast been pleasant, 
and all them whom thou hast loved, in addition to all whom 
thou hatodst, I will even collect them round about thee, and 
expose thy nakedness to them, and they shall see all thy naked- 


pies of action, takes possession of those 
powers, and forms itself into habits 
which the individual allows to grow 
upon him, so that he becomes at last in 
sensible to the operation of the strongest 
moral motives. tl~ViX t . withered, the 
Pahul Participle in Kal ; more commonly 
the Pulal --5"?X is employed. There is 
no necessity, with Ilitzig, to point, 
7(~r? i"- 1 ?** |ta "? ar "l render : what 
hope is there for lli>/ dawjhter ? D^i > self- 
wilhd, domineering, imperious, impudent. 

Compare the Arab. & JsLuLw 5 /OTH na 
clamosa. Theodor. Trapfl-r\cna^oij.fvr}s. 

31. A repetition of verse 24. The 
idolatries of the Jews were not practised 
for the love of gain, but solely for the 
sake of the gratification which they 
found in them. To sin for the mere 
love of sin argues the highest degree of 
depravity. 0;i? to scoff, d<ridc, with 
reference to the custom of prostitutes, 
who pretend to despise what is offered 
them as the price of whoredom, in order 
that it nay be raised. Vulg. fastidio 
auyens pretium. For an instance of bar 

gaining in such cases, see Gen. xxxviii. 
10. The b 1 in cb^ , is not to be con 
nected with fi^r; > but with f!"T im 
mediately preceding. 

32. w"X rnn , to be under a man, as 
a married woman, in subjection to her 

33, 34. To aggravate the guilt of the 
Jews, they are forcibly represented as 
acting contrary to other prostitutes, by 
hiring their paramours, instead of being 
hired by them. In Tf.~"2"~2, the pre 
position 3 indicates purpose orintention. 
""13 , the word here used for r/ift, or the 
price of prostitution, occurs nowhere else 
in the Hebrew Bible. The 5 in the 
plural TV?;"? following, is epenthetic. 

Root JIT; to be liberal. Arab. IcXJ, 
dispcrsus, liberalis fait, Conjug. v. liber- 
alem monstravit se. t\j , fern. 2O \j j 

immifictis. The conjunction 1 in ^"^ 
T{?r!?i is inferential. 

35-43. Now follow denunciations of 
judgment against the Jews on account 
of their flagitious conduct. I sec no 

CHAP. XVI. 35-43 ] 

E Z E K I E L . 


38 ness. And I will judge thee as those who commit adultery and 
shed blood are judged, and I will render to thee the blood of 

39 anger and of jealousy. And I will deliver thee into their hand, 
and they shall demolish thy brothel, and break down thy high 
places, and strip thee of thy garments, and take thy splendid 

40 jewels, and leave thee naked and bare. And they shall bring up 
against thee a company, and stone thee with stones, and cut thee 

41 in pieces with their swords. And they shall burn thy houses 
with fire, and execute judgments in thee in the sight of many 
women, and cause thee to cease from whoredom, and thou also 

42 shalt give no hire any more. And I will cause mine anger 
against thee to cease, and my jealousy shall turn away from thee, 

43 and I will be at rest and not be angry any more. Because thou 
didst not remember the days of thy youth, but hast provoked me 
to anger with all these, therefore, behold I also will recompense 
thy way upon thine own head, saith the Lord Jehovah, and thou 
shalt not practise this wickedness in adition to all thine abom- 

occasion to seek for any other signifi 
cation of Z"C;n3 (verse 36) than the or 
dinary one of brass, or money consisting 
of brass or copper, in allusion to the 
lavish expenditure of gifts as the wages 
of idolatrous prostitution (verses 31, 33, 
34) ; LXX. rbi> xa^^" , Vulg. acs. Our 
Translators appear to have obtained that 
of Jllthiness from the verdigris or green 
crust which it contracts. By those whom 
the Jews hated (vcr. 37), are meant the 
Edomitcs, Moabites, and Ammonites, 
between whom and them there existed 
an implacable enmity. It would seem, 
from the threatening to expose the naked 
ness of the Jews, that an allusion is made 
to one of the modes of punishing prosti 
tutes in ancient times, n^n CT TpP]"? 
nxppl (vcr. 38), and I will give thee the 
blood of fury and jealousy, i.e. I will 
furiously shed thy blood, as an enraged 
husband does that of his unfaithful wife 
when his jealousy is roused. In vcr. 40, 
the two kinds of capital punishment 
authorized by the Mosaic law are intro 
duced ; stoning, and killing with the 
sword. Here, and in the following verse, 
the invasion and destruction of Jerusa 
lem by the Chaldeans are predicted. 

pri2 , in Piel pP3 , a O7ra| \ey. to hew 
or cut in pieces. NH , Chaldee (vcr. 43), 
the same as the Hcb. 1^ , bcho d ! used 
once besides, Gen. xlvii. 23. The last 
clause of this verse is very obscure, but 
the idea which seems to be conveyed by 
it is, that, corrected and reformed by the 
judgments which were inflicted upon the 
Jews, they should not any more perpe 
trate the atrocious wickedness described 
in the preceding part of the chapter. 5? 
I take in the acceptation of in acldi itm 
to. Moral evils of all kinds were prev 
alent among them, but it was principally 
on account of idolatry emphatically 
nrrrrx (compare Zech. v. 8, TXT 
fiy 2 "in , this is wickedness) that they 
were punished. The Targum, Jarchi, 
Kimchi, and Roscnmucller interpret 
!tST , plan or purpose, in a good sense, 
and suppose the meaning to be, that the 
Jewish people did not form the design 
to repent of all their wickedness. It is 
true, Fta* , occuring simply by itself, 
may be taken in a good sense, as it ap 
pears to be Job xvii. 11, but the phrase 
ffi2t rri ? , here used, is never employed 
in any other sense than that of commit 
ting flagrant wickedness. The inter- 



[CHAP. XVI. 43-46. 

44 iuations. Behold every one who gives utterance to proverbs 
shall utter a proverb against thee, saying : As is the mother, so is 

45 her daughter. Thou art the daughter of thy mother who loathed 
her husband and her children ; and thou art the sister of thy 
sisters who loathed their husbands and their children ; your 

prctation of Michaelis and Havernick, 
adopted by Fairbairn, appears to me to 
be exceedingly forced : viz. that T T J!? 
is to be pointed "^i" 1 ^ > and referred to 
Jehovah, on the supposition, that he 
declares he would not act the part of 
the reckless parent who encouraged his 
daughter to prostitute herself (Lev. xix. 

4. ?. C&Oa is used elliptically for 
~rx~2 , which is supplied iti three MSS. 
at first hand, and by the LXX., Syriac, 
and Vulgate. Between this verse and 
that preceding there is no contradiction. 
There is merely a resumption of the 
threatened judgment, with a statement 
relative to its happy result. The Jews 
were no longer to add to their guilt by 
indulging in the crime of idolatry. 

44. The Mashal, or derisive proverb, 
here introduced is the most sententious 
and expressive of any used in the Bible. 
In Hebrew it consists only of two short 
words, the former of which is a com 
pound : i 71 "^ >~52X3 , as the mother, her 
dawihtrr ; "3 , so, the corresponding par 
ticle of comparison, is, as often, omitted 
for the sake of brevity. The meaning 
is, that Jerusalem had fully proved her 
self to be of Canaanitish origin, as had 
been stated, verse 3. 

45, 40. How Samaria and Sodom can 
be said to have loathed their husbands 
and their children, docs not clearly ap 
pear. By the Sina itic covenant Jehovah 
was the husband of Samaria the rep 
resentative of the ten tribes, just as much 
as he was of Jerusalem the represent 
ative of those of Judah and Benjamin ; 
but he never stood in any such relation 
to Sodom. Still, though we have no 
historical account of defection to idola 
try on the part of the inhabitants of that 
city previous to its destruction, yet as 

that sin in all probability was indulged 
in by them, their abandonment of the 
worship of the true God might be re 
garded as essentially analogous to that 
of the covenant people. It was a viola 
tion of those sacred engagements which, 
as his professing worshippers, they had 
come under. Or, if we view Sodom and 
her daughter-towns as representatives of 
the Moabites and Ammonites on the 
cast of the Jordan and the Dead Sea, 
among whom a similar defection must 
have taken place, it will amount to the 
same thing. Connected as these peoples 
were by collateral descent with the father 
of the faithful, there can be little doubt 
that in the patriarchal age they were wor 
shippers of the true God, though they 
afterwards apostatized to the worship of 
Baal-peor, Chemosh, and Moloch. In 
the same sense we arc to regard the 
Canaanites to whom the origin of Jeru 
salem is traced. On the principle, now 
generally admitted, that monotheism was 
prior to polytheism, they must originally 
have been worshippers of the true God. 
Melchizedek, king of Salem, was priest 
of the Most High God (Gen. xiv. 18). 
Jehovah, as entitled to their supreme 
love, had inalienable claims upon them, 
which they disowned when they fell away 
to idolatry. By abandoning his service, 
they obviously proved that they had re 
jected him. 5^a signifies to abhor, cast 
off, reject with loathing. It argues the 
highest pitch of reckless depravity to 
abhor the character of the Infinitely pure. 
Compare Gfoarv-ytis, Horn. i. 30. The 
circumstance that the names of the 
father and mother of Jerusalem occur 
here in the inverse order of that in which 
they arc presented in ver. 3, is not to be 

46. Samaria is called the greater 

CHAP. XVI. 46-51.] 



46 mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorlte. And thy elder 
sister is Samaria, who dwellcth at thy left hand, she and her 
daughters ; and thy younger sister, who dwelleth at thy right 

47 hand, is Sodom and her daughters. Yet thou didst not walk in 
their ways, nor act according to their abominations ; it was only 
a small matter ; but thou hast acted more corruptly than they in 

48 all thy ways. As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, Sodom thy 
sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, 

49 thou and thy daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of thy 
sister Sodom : pride, fulness of bread, and quiet security she and 
her daughters had, but she strengthened not the hand of the poor 

50 and needy ; But were haughty and committed abomination be- 

51 fore me ; therefore I removed them according as I saw. Neither 
had Samaria committed the half of thy sins, but thou hast mul 
tiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy 

n3 i"iSH or elder sister of Jerusalem, not 47. Enormous as were the sins of those 
with respect to age, for Jerusalem ex- cities, they were not in point of guilt to 
isted long prior to her ; but in regard to be compared with those of Jerusalem, 

the worship of the two golden calves 
established by Jeroboam in that city, 
As, in determining the points of the 

which were proportionally enhanced by 
the distinguished spiritual advantages 
that her inhabitants had enjoyed. In 

heavens, or, as we should say, the com- Jerusalem were the temple, the legal sac- 
pass, the Orientals regarded the East as rificc.s, the priests, and the law. Before 

it was polluted by idolatry Jehovah was 
worshipped there in the beauties of holi- 
ness. CJ? E?^3 , I adopt the significa- 
tion of only, as attaching to BJ5 , which 
was proposed by Sehultens, after the Arab. 
Uv , duniaxat. 

48-50. The two representative cities 
are now taken up singly. First Sodom, 
Jerusalem, principally in the same moral depicted in such dark characters in the 

the principal, they always spoke of it as 
being O" 1 "?!? or E"]j5, in front or Itefore, 
consequently b ijob , the left, would 
designatc the North, just as TP? , the 
right, would designate the South, the 
direction in which Sodom had lain. 
This last-named city is said to have been 
)f 3 5 the smaller or younger sister of 

point of view : her guilt, great as it was, 
not bein to be compared, in point of 

0. T. history. Worldly prosperity often 
proves dangerous to the interests of vir- 

aggravation, with that contracted by tuc. It easily inflates its possessors with 
Jerusalem. The kingdom, too, of which pride ; and, leading them to abandon 
it was the capital, was small compared active habits of life, superinduces indul- 
with that of Judah. The " daughters " gencc in those of idleness, than which 
of cities, is a term used idiomatically in universal experience proves that nothing 

can furnish greater occasions to the com 
mission of sin. ti|Tirii rfbv i carehu 
idleness. The latter word is the Infini 
tive in Hiphil used substan lively. Root 
k2 J , to rest, recline, be inactive, idle. 

51. ^i""}"? i more than they, i.e. the in 
habitants of Samaria understood, as im- 

Hebrew, to denote cither their inhabit 
ants, or smaller cities and villages con 
nected with, or dependent upon them. 

ThnsXum. xxi.25 n^n^a bran a lirn 

in Ileshbon and in all her daughters, ren 
dered by our translators " in all her vil 



[CHAP. XVI. 51-57. 

52 sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done. Do thou 
also bear thy reproach, which hast judged thy sisters in thy sins 
that thou hast committed more abominably than they : they are 
more righteous than thou : be ashamed then, also thou, and bear 

53 thy reproach, in that thou hast justified thy sisters. And I will 
reverse their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, 
and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, and the cap- 

54 tivity of thy captivities in the midst of them : In order that thou 
rnayest bear thy reproach, and be ashamed of all that thou hast 

55 done, when thou comfortest them. And thy sisters, Sodom and 
her daughters, shall return to their former estate ; and Samaria 
and her daughters shall return to their former estate ; and thou 

56 and thy daughters shall return to your former estate. And thy 
sister Sodom was not a report in thy mouth in the day of thy 

plied in the name of the city. Two 
MSS. read ^r. r than she, ttie city. In 
stead of ^".Sj nx , tli y sisters, sixty-four 
MSS., among these many Spanish, ori 
ginally three more, and six by correction, 
read "H inx , thy sister, which would ap 
pear better to harmonize with the con 
text. The Kcri in many MSS., as well 
as not a few printed editions, reads the. 
word in the plural, which has also the 
support of the ancient versions. " To 
justify the crimes of others " is a Hebrew 
mode of speech, denoting 1 , to make them 
appear comparatively innocent by the side 
of others, accompanied with much more 
aggravating circumstances. 

53-55. Here a most unexpected change 
in the scene takes place. Instead of ex 
patiating further on the calamities to be 
inflicted upon the guilty, all at once a 
gracious promise. of restoration is intro 
duced. P^- i) SVi , to reverse a captivity, 
signifies to restore captives and other 
sufferers to liberty and prosperity ; sec 
Job. xlii. 10. If the interpretation given 
of the three cities, Jerusalem, Samaria, 
and Sodom, be correct, namely that they 
are to be viewed as symbolical of the 
surrounding people whose centre they 
formed, or with whom they stood con 
nected, no difficulty will arise relative to 
the restoration of Sodom. If we regard 

her as the representative of the Ammon 
ites and Moabites, the descendants of 
Lot, we shall here have only a parallel 
prediction to Jcr. xlviii. 47 ; xlix. G. 
However obscure the lights of history 
relative cither to the captivity or the 
restoration of the nations beyond the 
Dead Sea, there can be little doubt that 
they participated more or less in the fate 
of the Jews, to whose country they lay 
contiguous. It was a source of conso 
lation to the other apostates that, their 
guilt not being so aggravated as that of 
Jerusalem, the punishment inflicted upon 
them would not be so severe (verse 54). 
That most of the ten tribes, of which 
Samaria had been the capital, were re 
stored under Cyrus, is now generally 
admitted. The restoration of all the 
three classes of people is here predicted 
to take place at the same time. 

5G. So haughtily did the Jews carry 
themselves during the period of their 
national prosperity, that they did not 
deign even to mention the name of 
Sodom as a warning example. M5" - 2 , 
a report, anything heard, and supposed, 
from its importance, to be repeated by 
those who hear it. 

57. By "the reproach" of the cities 
of Syria, was not meant anything derog 
atory to the character of those cities 

CH.VI . XVI. 57-61.] 

E Z E K I E L . 


57 pride. Before thy wickedness was revealed, as at the time of 
the reproach of the daughters of A"am and all that were round 
about her, the daughters of the Philistines that despised thee 
round about. 

58 Thou hast borne thy lewdness and thine abominations, saith 

59 Jehovah. For thus saith the Lord Jehovah : I also will act 
towards thee as thou hast acted, because thou hast despised the 

60 oath, breaking the covenant. Yet I will remember my covenant 
with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish for thee 

61 an everlasting covenant. And thou shalt remember thy ways 
and be ashamed, when thou receivcst thine elder sisters in addi 
tion to those who were younger than thou ; and I will give them 

62 to thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant. And I will 
establish my covenant with thee, and thou shult know that I am 

nationally considered, but the indignity 
offered by the Syrians to the Jews, when, 
under Rczin, they invaded the land of 
Jndah (2 Kings xv. 37 ; Isa. vii. 1-9). 
That this is the construction to be put 
upon the words is evident from the par 
allelism, in the corresponding member 
of which the manner in which the Jews 
had been treated by the Philistines is 
mentioned. Compare for the insults 
offered by both Isa. ix. 11, 12. 

53, so. r cr pp nat xba, to icar 

laodnett and abominations, means to suffer 
the punishment due to them. All the 
sufferings inflicted by the neighboring 
nations were retributivcly imposed upon 
them on account of their violation of the 
sacred engagements of the national cov 
enant. Jehovah employed the nations 
as his instruments in punishing them. 

60, 61. Though the Jews had acted 
most perfidiously towards their covenant 
God, and he might justly have cast them 
off for ever, yet in remembrance of his 
ancient covenant with them, ratified at 
Sinai, when he solemnly pledged him 
self to be their God, he promises still to 
have compassion upon them. They were 
again to be restored to their own land, 
bin it was not so much that they might 
enjoy the temporal advantages of the old 
covenant, as that he might confer upon 

them the spiritual blessings of the new, 
to be ratified, while they were in that re 
stored condition, by the death of Mes 
siah. That this is the covenant else 
where called " the everlasting covenant," 
sec 2 Sam. xxiii. 5 ; Isa. Iv. 3 ; Ezck. 
xxxvii. 26, and which, as here, is con 
trasted with the Sina itic (Jcr. xxxi. 
31-34). Those who were to share with 
Jerusalem the spiritual benefits of the 
new covenant were to be brought into 
relation to her not in virtue of any 
principles involved in that established at 
Sinai, but solely in virtue of those be 
longing to the Messianic. Tj"" 1 "^ > thy 
covenant, is the Genitive of object, the 
covenant made with tlicc, for thy bene 
fit the national covenant. The New 
Jerusalem was henceforth to be the 
mother of all believers, whether Jews or 
Gentiles (Gal. iv. 26) ; and the calling 
of the last-named division of the human 
family is virtually here included. I 
must demur to the statements of Calvin, 
adopted by Havcrnick and Fairbairn, 
who represent the old covenant to be 
the fountain-head of the new, and that 
they were well-nigh the same in sub 
stance, though different in form. So far 
indeed as the typical aspects of the for 
mer dispensation are concerned, they 
unquestionably had respect to the bless- 


E Z E K I E L . 

[CHAP. XVII. 1,2. 

G3 Jehovah. That thou mayest remember, and be ashamed, and 
there shall be no more to thee an opening of the mouth on ac 
count of thy shame, when I am reconciled to thcc in reference to 
all that thou hast done, saith the Lord Jehovah. 

ings of the gospel. But these aspects 
did not essentially belong to that cove 
nant. They were merely a corollary or 
appendage, introduced into it for the 
purpose of illustrating the promise given 
in the Abrahamic covenant, which still 
remained, and ran parallel with the law, 
unaffected by its introduction four hun 
dred and thirty years afterwards (Gal. 
iii. 17). The new dispensation, there 
fore, had a more ancient origin than that 
of Moses, and was established on better 
promises. Along with the old cove 
nant, the language of which was : " Do 
this, and thou shall live," there existed 
another, the language of which, illus 
trated by the legal sacrifices pointing 
forward to the all-perfect atonement of 

onr Saviour, was : " Believe, and thou 
shall be saved." It was this arrange 
ment of mercy, distinct from, though 
incorporated with, the ancient economy, 
which secured the eternal happiness of be 
lievers previous to the advent of Ivles>iah. 
0.3. Nothing can be conceived of more 
calculated to produce feelings of deep 
penitential shame and sorrow, than the 
s .ipcrabounding mercy of the Most High 
manifested towards his rebellious and 
guilty creatures. Contrasting the base 
ness of their conduct wiili liis infinite 
compasMon and love, their former self- 
boasting is cut off, and, lying low in the 
dust before Him, they can open their 
lips only in celebration of the riches of 
His "-race. 


This chapter contains a parable of two eagles and a vine, 1-10; the explanation of the 
parable with application to the of Babylon and Egypt, and the fate of the king 
dom of Judah in reference to them, 11-21; and concludes with a parabolic representa 
tion of the Messiah, a;id of the origin, universality, and prosperity of his kingdum, in 
language borrowed from the preceding, C2-24. 

" From the beauty of its images, the elegance of its composition, the perspicuity (,f its 
language, the rich variety of its matter, and the oa?y transition from one part of the 
subject to another, this chapter forms one of the most beautiful and perfect pieces (.fits 
kind that can posMbly be conceived in so small a compass." Smith (,n the Prophets. 

The place in point of time assignable to this prophecy lies between the sixth month of the 
sixth year of the reign if Xedekiah, and the fifth month of the seventh year after the 
carrying away of Jehoiachin to Babylon; consequently five years before the destruc 
tion of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. 

1 AND the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying : Son of man, 

2 propose a riddle, and use a simile to the house of Israel ; 

2. fi JP "! "^i" 1 * propose an cnirjmn. Agreeably to this etymology, enigmas 
Comp. Judges xiv. 12, 13, 14; 1 Kings aresharp, pointed, and penetrating; they 
x. 1; Psalmxlix.5; Ixxviii. 2 ; and the are powerfully calculated to excite atten 
tion, whet the intellect of the hearer or 
Arab. J^a. , acurf, acutusfmt ; 2dConj. ^^^ aml morc f]xc(]]y sccurc ^ .^ 

tX-J iXs\J , acutum reddidit, exacuit. vestigation of the subject. They are 

CHAP. XVII. 2-4. J 

E Z E K I E L . 

And say : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : The great eagle, great 
of wing?, long of pinion, full of feathers of various colors, came 
to Lebanon and took the foliage of the cedar. He broke off the 
topmost branch, and brought it to the land of merchants ; he 

artificial and obscure, and express things 
in a sense different from that which the 
words, taken in their literal acceptation, 
would imply. Among other figures of 
speech by which they are distinguished, 
prosopopoeia predominates. They are 
likewise marked by ingeniousncss of 
thought and aptitude of expression. The 
truths or facts to which they relate, lie 
not upon, but under the surface. Scrip 
ture-enigmas differ from fable, inasmuch 
as they teach not fictions, but real facts. 
They are not, like ordinary riddles, 
designed to puzzle and perplex, but to 

In the instance before us, as likewise 

in Prov. i. 6 ; Ps. xlix. 5 ; Ixxviii. 2, 

^"3 are classed together as 

synonymous. The only shade of differ 
ence in meaning between them is, that 
while the former has respect to the 
obscurity, the latter regards the figu 
rative traits by which the composition 
is characterized, and the impression which 
its diversified imagery is calculated to 
produce on the mind. 

3, 4. The eagle was an apposite sym 
bol of royalty that bird being the king 
of all the feathered tribes, distinguished 
for its majestic size, its great perspi 
cacity, its indomitable courage, the 
rapidity of its motion, and its resistless 
powers of attack. It had been employed 
by Jeremiah with reference to the king 
of Babylon, chaps, xlviii. 40; xlix. 22; 
and Daniel gives the wings of the eagle 
to the body of the lion when symboli 
cally portraying the same power, chap, 
vii. 4. Compare Comment, on Ezck. i. 
From the predominance of the head and 
wings of the eagle as symbolical of 
kingly power in the Assyrian monu 
ments lately discovered at Nineveh, it 
is evident the Jewish captives must have 
been familiar with the symbol ; and con 

sidering the history of the times, they 
could have been at little loss to perceive 
to whom the symbol was designed specifi 
cally to apply. The "wings," described 
as " great and long," characterized the 
extent of monarchical power, including 
the army; and the "divers colors," the 
various nations, tribes, and languages 
over which that power was extended. 
The spread of the eagle s wings is 
sometimes not less than seven feet six 
inches. " Lebanon," being one of the 
most remarkable mountains of Palestine, 
is used symbolically to denote the whole 
country, and especially Jerusalem as the 
capital. The " cedar " for which that 
mountain has long been distinguished, 
was symbolical of kingly majesty, gran 
deur, and power, (sec on chap. xxxi. 3, 
and Dan. iv. 10-12). The "highest 
branch " betokens the royal or reigning 
family, and r~53S , " the top of the young 
twigs," the youngest and most tender 
member of that family. t~l~3^ is a word 
peculiar to Ezekiel, who, besides the 
present passage, employs it in ver. 22 ; 
and chap. xxxi. 3, 10, 14. It is derived 
from ^"5^ > to cut off] as wool in sheep- 
shearing; hence it came to signify the 
flctcc, and transferred to trees, the curly, 
fleecy, or woolly part of the branches. 
Jchoiachin, to whom reference is here 
symbolically made, was only eighteen 
years of age, when he assumed the reins 
of government (2 Kings xxiv. 8). Not 
only was the country of Babylon famous 
for its transport-traffic by means of the 
Euphrates, but the city itself was cele 
brated for its manufacturing and mer 
cantile establishments. From the con 
nection of Babylon with the Persian 
Gulf, the commerce earned on between 
that city and India must have been 
immense. The term "j~;3 > is hero to be 
understood according to the explanation 


E Z E K I E L . 

[Cnxp. XVII. 5-10. 

placed it in a trafficking city. And he took of the seed of the 
laud, and set it in a field of seed ; he took it beside great waters, 
he set it as a willow. And it sprouted and became a spreading 
vine, of low stature ; its branches turned towards him, and its 
roots were under him ; and it became a vine, and produced 
branches, and shot forth beautiful twigs. 

And there was another great eagle with great wings and much 
pluinane ; and behold, this vine bent her roots towards him, and 

1 O 

shot forth her branches towards him from the terraces of her 
plantation, that he might water her. She was planted in a good 
soil by great waters, that she might produce branches and bear 
fruit, to become a goodly vine. Say : Thus saith the Lord 
Jehovah : Shall she prosper ? Shall he not pluck up her roots, 
and cut off her fruit, that she may wither, that all her fresh 
foliage may wither ? yet not with great power, nor with much 

which follows of the country and metro 
polis of the Babylonians. 

5. ] r ":^ ^ ""?!! the seed of the land, means 
what we should call " a son of the soil," 
as distinguished from a foreigner. On 
the removal of Jehoiachin, the king of 
Babylon did not choose a Chaldean or 
other foreign general to succeed him as 
stockholder, but his uncle Zcdekiah of 
the royal Davidic family. HIT 1 with 
Kamcts to distinguish it from !"! , the 
Imperative, and abbreviated for 1~1; , he 
took. i~iS:SS occurs only here, and is 
dcsginatcd by Winer : pcrobscurum. 
Judging from the form i" 1 !"}"!! > derived 
from yvn , it is most natural to refer the 
word to rpS , to flow, overflow, and to 
regard it as designating some plant or 
tree noted for its fondness for water. 
The Rabbinical interpretation willow, 
derives confirmation from the Arabic 
OLAOJLo , W/.r(seeKitto, Art. TZAPII- 
TZAPIIA. In poetic style 3, like, is fre 
quently omitted. The comparison of 
Zedckinh to a willow is anything but 
honorable to him. Though there were 
no E^n E ni c in Palestine to be compared 
with those of the Euphrates, yet the 
language may also be applied to that 
country in consideration of the abun- 
dunccof water with which itwassupplicd. 

Compare Dcut. viii. 7, and vSara iro\\d, 
John iii. 23. There is no departure 
from the propriety of" the figure in repre 
senting the vine as growing in low watery 
places. It is not uncommon in France 
and Italy to plant vines in such a situa 
tion, in which they trail or creep along 
the surface of the ground, and of course 
quite contrast with those which grow up 
along walls or arc .supported by trees. 
The vine was also cultivated in Egypt 
in the low lands covered with the mud 
of the Nile. The subjection of Zedekiah 
to Nebuchadnezzar is significantly ex 
pressed by his being turned towards him ; 
while he continued faithful as his vassal, 
though he never rose to any elevation, 
yet the affairs of the kingdom went on 
peaceably, and the subjects increased 
rather than diminished. 

7. The other symbolical eagle, to 
whose description the parable now pro 
ceeds, was Pharaoh, king of Egypt. lie 
was also a monarch of great power, and 
ruled over many different nations. Tired 
of subjection to the king of Babylon, 
Zedekiah applied to Pharaoh in the hope 
that he would send an army to establish 
the independence of his throne. 

8-10. If Zedekiah had maintained his 
fidelity to Nebuchadnezzar, there was 

CHAP. XVII. 10-15.] 



10 people to carry her away from her roots. And, behold, being 
planted, shall she prosper ? Shall she not, when the east wind 
toucheth her, utterly wither ? in the terraces of her plantation she 

11 shall wither. And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying: 

12 Say now to the rebellious house : Know ye not what these things 
mean ? Say : Behold, the king of Babylon came against Jeru 
salem, and captured her king and her princes, and conveyed 

13 them to himself to Babylon. And he took of the seed royal, 
and made a covenant with him, and caused him to enter into an 

14 oath ; and he took away the mighty men of the land, that the 
kingdom might become depressed, and not raise itself up, but 

nothing to threaten a reverse in the 
affairs of his government, but, on the 
contrary, the prospect of increasing pros 
perity. By his perfidy, however, the 
hopes of the nation were entirely blasted, 
and its destruction effected. Michaclis, 
supposing that the king of Babylon must 
have brought a large army against Jeru 
salem when he captured it in the time of 
Zcdekiah, suspects the negative SO in 
the sentence 2? Drni nbina ri-iTa-xbl 
(ver. 9), but finding his conjecture not 
substantiated by any MS. authority, he 
translates agreeably to the printed Hebrew 
text. Havcrnick appears to have stum 
bled at the same difficulty, and endeavors 
to get over it by referring the agent to 
Pharaoh, and not to Nebuchadnezzar. 
To this construction, however, which is 
forced and unnatural, we are not necessi 
tated, since there is nothing in the shape 
of historical evidence to show that any 
great military demonstration was made 
at the final taking of Jerusalem by the 
eastern conqueror. In all probability, a 
division of the Chaldean army which 
had raised the siege of Jerusalem, re 
mained on the frontiers of Egypt to 
watch the movements of the Egyptian 
troops, while those who returned found 
it no difficult task to gain the victory 
over the disappointed and helpless in 
habitants of the Jewish metropolis. S. e 
Jer. xxxvii. lYiMfB^, the Infinitive 
in Kal, with the performative ^ after the 
Chaldce manner, and m , agreeably to 

the ending of verbs H5 . The nil 
Q" 1 ?!^ > fast wind, proving noxious to veg 
etation in Palestine, is here fitly employed 
as a symbol of the Chaldean army, which 
came from that quarter. It was only 
necessary to bring that army into contact 
with the Jewish state, in order to effect its 
ruin. The interrogatory repetition in 
ver. 10 of the declaration made in ver. 9 
is singularly forcible. 

1 1 . The prophet is instructed to furnish 
an explanation of the preceding parable, 
that the refractory Jews might be without 
excuse if they persevered in their course of 
disobedience against the clearly revealed 
will of Jehovah. 

12-14. The Jews arc here reminded of 
the plain matter of fact, that Nebuchad 
nezzar, represented by the former of the 
two eagles, had taken away Jehoiachin 
and his princes captives to Babylon, and 
having made Zcdekiah swear fealty to 
him, placed him as his vassal on the 
Jewish throne, in the room of his nephew. 
He had thereby evinced how completely 
the Jews who remained in the land were 
in his power, but at the same time also 
his disposition to preserve their existence 
as a state, however humbled, if only 
they remained faithful to the contract 
(2 Chron. xxxvi. 10-13). 

15 Though, as Scholz remarks, we 
have no account of this mission to the 
king of Egypt anywhere else in the Jew 
ish records, we may rest satisfied with 
the testimony of Ezckicl, who was a con- 

94 E Z E K I E L , [CiiAP. XVII. 15-24. 

15 that it might keep his covenant and stand. But he rebelled 
against him, and sent his ambassadors to Kgypt, that they might 
grant him horses and much people. Shall he prosper ? shall he 
be delivered who doeth these things ? yea, shall the breaker of 

16 a covenant be delivered? As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, 
surely in the place of the king who made him king, whose oath 
he despised, and whose covenant he brake, he shall die with him 

17 in the midst of Babylon. Neither shall Pharaoh with his great 
army and great company act with him in the war, when the 
mounts arc thrown up, and the towers built, to cut oil many 

18 persons : Because he despised the oath by breaking the cove 
nant, though, behold, he had given his hand and done all these 

19 things, he shall not escape. Therefore thus saith the Lord 
Jehovah : As I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised and 
my covenant that he hath broken, even it I will recompense 

20 upon his own head. And I will spread my net over him, and he 
shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon, and 
will plead with him there for his trespass which he hath tres- 

21 passed against me : And all his fugitives in all his wings shall 
fall by the sword, and those who remain shall be scattered to 
every quarter ; and ye shall know that I Jehovah have spoken it. 

temporary. Here again the use of the as It still is in the East, and among our- 

interrogative gives force to the style of selves, a pledge of agreement or fidelity 

the prophet. Egypt wns celebrated in (2 Kings x. 15; E/.ni x. 19; Jer. 1 15). 

ancient times for its breed of hor>es. Zedckiah is charged with having proved 

According to Diod. Sic. (i. 45), the whole faithless to the oath and covenant of 

region from Thebes to Memphis \vas Jehovah ; because in pledging his fealty 

filled with royal stalls, and such was the to the king of Babylon he did it by a 

abundance of horses, that no fewer than solemn appeal to the Cod of the Jews 

twenty thousand chariots, each having (2 Chron. xxxvi. 13). The threatening 

two, could be furnished in time of war. denounced against him was fulfilled live 

It was, therefore, natural for Zcdekiah years afterwards by his being carried away 

to turn to that quarter for aid, and, captive to Babylon, where he died in 

considering the hostile attitude of the prison. Jer. Hi. 8-1 1. Instead of *Pl"13 

two great empires, he might reasonably or "^Pl"^ , his fugitives, the Syr. and 

expect that his application would not be Chald. appear to have read ^"^2 , his 

made in vain. choice OHC-S, i.e. his nobles or generals. 

17. The Pharaoh here referred to was The accomplishment of this threatcn- 

Pharaoh-Hophra, known to the Greeks ing would furnish an indubitable proof 

by the name of Apries or Vaphres, and of the divine authority of the prophet, 

supposed to be Psamatik III. of the 22-24. In striking contrast with the 

Egvptian monuments. He was the sue- Lord s dealing with Zcdekiah in the way 

cessorofPharaoh-Necho. See Comment, of judgment, which was calculated to 

on Jer. xliv. 30. sink the hopes of the church to the very 

18-21. "i^ *ri; , to gire tfie hand, was, lowest ebb, is here unexpectedly intro- 

CHAP. XVII. 22-24-1 



22 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : I will also take of the highest branch 

of the lofty cedar, and will set it ; from the top of its young 
twigs I will cut off a tender one, and will plant it upon a moun- 

23 tain hi^h and eminent ; In a lofty mountain of Israel will I 

C5 * 

plant it, and it shall produce boughs, and bear fruit, and become 
a magnificent cedar, and under it shall dwell every bird of every 

24 wing ; in the shadow of its branches shall they dwell. And all 
the trees of the field shall know that I Jehovah have laid low 
the high tree, have raised on high the low tree ; have dried up 
the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish. I Jehovah 
have spoken, and will do it. 

duced a parabolic prophecy relating to 
the Messiah, and to the universality and 
prosperity of his kingdom. That this 
prophecy is strictly Messianic, Ilitzig, 
Ewald, and other free-thinking expositors 
have been compelled to acknowledge. 
Indeed the language of the parable is so 
plain, that there was no necessity, as 
there was in regard to the preceding, to 
add any explanation. It is passing 
strange that Grotius should have adopted 
the idea advanced by some of the Rab 
bins, that Zcrubbabcl is the person in 
tended. He never reigned as king, but 
was merely the Persian stadtholdcr. Nor 
could the prophecy by any possibility 
apply to the Asmoncan princes, for they 
were of the tribe of Levi, and not of the 
family of David, which is here recognized. 
The Rabbins, Jarchi, Abcndana, and 
Abarbanel, expressly declare in favor of 
the Messianic interpretation. 

22. By frcnri HX.n , the lofty cedar, 
is meant the Davidic family, which, how 
ever treated with indignity, and tram 
pled in the dust by Nebuchadnezzar, 
occupied a high place in the divine 
counsels, and was destined to rise to 
greater dignity than any mere earthly 
power. As the highest branch was the 
furthest from the roots, the reference is 
to the remote descendants of the royal 
family, and the tender one beautifully sym 
bolizes the Messiah as the "Iu3h , shoot, 

and the 1S3 , sprout, predicted Isa. xi. 1. 
The " high and eminent mountain " was 
Zion, Ps. ii. 6. It is here described as 
the mountain of the, height of Israel, as 
at chap. xx. 40, in reference to Jerusa 
lem, which at the time of the Messiah s 
advent was to be what it had been, the 
centre of all the tribes, who, restored to 
their land, would go up again to the 
festivals, as they had done before the 
revolt. It derived its chief glory, how 
ever, from its being destined to become 
the spot where the spiritual kingdom was 
to be established, and whence it was to 
extend its blessings throughout the whole 
world. The imagery in this parable is 
borrowed from what the prophet had 
employed in reference to the cedar of 
Lebanon ( ver. 3 ) . How despicable soever 
the kingdom of Christ may appear to a 
worldly mind, and however small it was 
at its commencement, it is truly prolific ; 
and, while all the glory of earthly king 
doms fades and perishes, it affords refuge 
and nourishment to men of every color 
and every clime. Universal history 
proves that it is Jehovah who ruleth in 
the kingdom of men, and giveth it to 
whomsoever he will, debasing the proud 
and exalting the humble, agreeably to the 
predictions uttered by his servants the 
prophets. y5 , tree, is used here, as in 
chap. xxi. 15, figuratively of a prince or 



[CHAP. XVIII. 1,2. 


This chapter contains a vindication of tho rectitude of the divine government against an 
impious imputation to the contrary alleged by the unbelieving Jews. Jehovah begins 
by quoting a proverbial maxim current among them, to the effect, that they were sufl or- 
ing not on account of their own sins, but of those of their fathers, 1-4; the impartiality 
of the divine conduct is then illustrated by supposing a variety of instances: the first, 
that of a righteous father, 5-9; tho second, that of a wicked son of a righteous father, 
10-13; the third, that of a righteous son of a wicked father. 14-18; the fourth, that of 
a wicked sou who repents, 19-23; and the fifth, that of a righteous man who deflects 
from a course of rectitude, 24. The chapter concludes with a summing up of the argu 
ment, 25-20, and an application of the whole to the case of the Jews individually 
earnestly urging upon them tho necessity of personal repentance as the only means of 
securing immunity from punishment, 30-32. 

Tho whole is a noble piece of just reasoning on a subject of immense importance in relation 
to God s moral government. 

1 AND the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying: Wherefore do 

2 you use this proverb respecting the land of Israel, saying : The 
fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the teeth of the children are 

1. Th s chapter connects intimately 
with the preceding. The happy state of 
things under the reign of Messiah had 
just been touched upon, and here it is 
convincingly shown that in punishing 
the Jewish nation Jehovah was acting 
on the strictest principles of rectitude, 
and that without individual repentance 
no hope could be entertained of partici 
pating in the blessings of the new dis 

2. From this verse, and from chap, 
xii. 22, 2.3, it appears that in the days 
of the prophet the Jews were accus 
tomed to wrap up their infidel objections 
in sententious sayings, which they ban 
died about from one to another. The 
import of the proverb before us is, that 
the teeth of the fathers who ate the sour 
grapes should have been set on edge, and 
not those of their children who had not 
partaken of them ; in other words, that 
while the guilty had been suffered to 
escape, the punishment had fallen upon 
the innocent. There is, in fact, couched 
in the language, the same spirit of self- 
righteousness for which, notwithstanding 
their national and personal guilt, the 
Jews were ever distinguished, with 
the additional aggravation of impiously 

charging God with injustice in punish 
ing them. 

There might have been some appear 
ance of validity in the objection of those 
who made it, had they never been charge 
able with idolatry and other sins there 
with connected, or if they had repented 
of and forsaken their wicked courses ; 
but it was urged with the worst possible 
grace by those who were to the full as 
wicked as their ancestors, or even worse, 
as they are represented Jcr. xvi. 11, 12. 
If they had listened to the warning voice 
of the prophets, and abandoned the ser 
vice of idols, they would have averted 
the calamities which they had brought 
upon the nation ; or if they had at all 
been sensible of the enormous evil of sin, 
as committed against a holy God, instead 
of criminating, they would have justified 
him in the judgments which he had 
inflicted upon them. Those who truly 
feared Jehovah, so far from bringing any 
charge of injustice against him, would 
have been forward to acknowledge that 
he had punished them less than their 
iniquities deserved (Ezra ix. 13). 

If the captivity did not take place in 
l thc days of their fathers, it was to be 
ascribed to the divine long-suffering, by 

CHAP. XVIII. 2-9.] 



3 set on edge ? As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, ye shall no 

4 longer use this proverb in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine ; 
as the soul of the father, so the soul of the son is mine : the soul 

5 that sinneth, it shall die. When now a man shall be just, and 

6 practise judgment and justice, Hath not eaten upon the moun 
tains, nor lifted up his eyes towards the idols of the house of 
Israel, nor defiled his neighbor s wife, nor approached a men- 

7 struous woman, And hath not oppressed any, hath restored his 
pledge, hath not taken the spoil, hath given his bread to the 

8 hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment ; Hath not 
lent on usury, nor taken interest, hath withholden his hand 
from wickedness, and hath executed the judgment of truth 

which time was afforded them for repent 
ance. That it happened when it did, 
was a demonstration to the living gen 
eration, that their sins could not go un 
punished, but that verily there was a God 
that judgeth in the earth. 

We read frequently in the Old Testa 
ment of God s visiting the iniquities of 
the fathers upon the children, but it is 
always with the proviso, expressed or 
understood, that the descendants perse 
vered in the sins of their ancestors 
(Exod. xx. 5; Matt, xxiii. 30-32). 

3. When Jerusalem was about to be 
destroyed, measures were adopted under 
the divine administration to secure the 
escape of the righteous, chap. ix. 1-4 ; 
and when the captivity in Babylon had 
worked out its intended result in recov 
ering the Jews from their idolatrous 
practices, they were restored to circum 
stances of prosperity in their native land. 
In the whole of Jehovah s conduct 
to them, he made it evident, that he did 
not act with partiality or capriciously, 
but that he dealt with every one accord 
ing to his works. He here employs the 
most solemn oath to confirm this fact, 
and to silence the daring of the infidel. 

4. In this verse God asserts his uni 
versal propriety in his rational creation. 
rVwS3il~33 , all the souls, i.e. persons 
the noblest part of the constituent ele 
ments of the human subject being put 
for the whole. He had created them all, 

and having endowed them with those 
powers and faculties which are necessary 
to constitute them subjects of moral gov 
ernment, he had a sovereign and indis 
putable right to deal with them in equity 
according to their deserts. In punishing 
the guilty, he acts without respect of 
persons. The individual culprit is dealt 
with on the ground of his own personal 
deserts, fl 13 , to die, is here, as else 
where, used in the enlarged sense of 
being subject to penal infliction ; to 
suffer the punishment due to transgres 
sion ; to become the subject of misery 
as the effect of retributive justice. With 
out any attempt at proof, Michaelis 
asserts that Ezekicl adopted this accep 
tation of the term from the language of 
the Chaldeans among whom he lived. 

5. In illustration of the proposition so 
emphatically laid down, the prophet 
proceeds with an induction of particular 
cases, arising out of the different charac 
ters, and relations of men. The first is 
that of an individual of irreproachable 
moral character. 

6-9. Most of the vices here specified 
were expressly condemned in the law of 
Moses, and, having in all probability been 
rampant among the Jews in the days of 
Ezekiel, their enumeration furnished 
scope for the consciences of his contempo 
raries to operate in the way of conviction. 
" Eating upon the mountains," connected 
as the language here is with the worship 



[CHAP. XVIII. 6-18. 

9 between man and man ; Hath walked in my statutes, and kept 
my judgments to practise truth ; he is righteous, he shall surely 

10 live, saith the Lord Jehovah. But if he beget a son who 
is a robber, a shedder of blood, and doeth the like of one of 

11 these things, But doeth none of those ; but hath eaten upon 

12 the mountains, and hath defiled his neighbor s wife: Hath 
oppressed the poor and needy, hath taken away the spoil, hath 
not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, 

13 hath wrought abomination ; Hath given upon usury, and taken 
interest : should he then live ? he shall not live : he hath done 
all these abominations ; he shall surely die ; his blood shall be 

14 upon him. And, behold, he begetteth a son, who seeth all the 
sins which his father hath committed, and feareth, and doeth 

15 not like them, Hath not eaten upon the mountains, nor lifted 
up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel ; nor defiled his 

16 neighbor s wife ; Hath oppressed none, hath not taken a pledge, 
nor taken the prey, hath given his bread to the hungry, aud 

of idols, doubtless refers to idolatrous 
feasts celebrated in the " high places" 
where such worship was performed. 
That 7X is used for 32 there can be 
little doubt. These prepositions are not 
infrequently interchanged in our prophet. 
For the sins of impurity here specified, 
see Lev. xx. 10, 18. So far was the 
individual referred to from being guilty 
of any acts of oppression, that he was 
distinguished for acts of benevolence. 
1 rbbn :rn, lit. the debt of ///. plcdc/e; 
the meaning is, what is pledged with 
him for the payment of a debt. The 
Jewish law had many wise and benevo 
lent enactments on the subject of pledges, 
Exod. xxii. 26, 27 ; Dent. xxiv. G, 10, 
1 1 . ~r3 , the term used for usury is 
very expressive. It literally signifies 
bitinq, and must have originated in the 
practice of taking exorbitant interest. 
The law of Moses absolutely prohibited 
the Jews from taking any interest from 
their brethren, but permitted them to do 
so from a foreigner, Exod. xxii. 25 ; 
Deut. xxiii. 19, 20. T^Sin , increase, 
from *~^~} > to multiply, increase wealth, 
is another term expressive of interest or 
usury, denoting riches obtained by lend 

ing money at high interest, or by making 
exorbitant charges on the natural pro 
ductions of the soil. The man who was 
blameless with respect to all the points 
here specified was accounted p HS , r //^- 
cous in the eye of the law, and was en 
titled to enjoy the life which the law 

10-13. The second case instanced by 
the prophet is that of an impious son, 
who, instead of following the good 
example of his pious parent, adopts a 
course directly the reverse, and unscru 
pulously indulges in crimes condemned 
by the law. Upon him an unmitigated 
sentence is pronounced. In the language 
of the Orientals the blood which a mur 
derer has shed is said to be upon him, 
till it be nvcngcd by his punishment. 

14-18. The third case is likewise that 
of a son, not, like the former, of a right 
eous man, but of the unrighteous person 
whose character had just been depicted. 
This son is supposed to be shocked at 
the sight of his father s depravity, and 
to be influenced by a due regard to the 
consequences, to avoid the sins which 
his parent hadcommittcd. It is expressly 
declared that he should not be punished 

CHAP. XVIII. 14-24.] EZEKIEL. 99 

17 clothed the naked with a garment ; Hath turned back his 
hand from the afflicted ; hath not taken usury, nor increase, 
hath executed my judgments, and walked in my statutes, he 
shall not die for the iniquity of his father ; he shall surely live. 

18 His father, because he hath grievously oppressed, spoiled his 
brother by violence, and hath not done that which is good in the 

19 midst of his people, behold, now he shall die in his iniquity. Yet 
ye say ; Why ? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father ? 
When the son hath done that which is just and right, hath kept 

20 all my statutes, and done them, he shall surely live. The soul 
that sinneth, it shall die ; the son shall not bear the iniquity of 
the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son : 
the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the 

21 wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. And the wicked, 
when he shall turn from all his sins which he hath committed, 
and shall keep all my statutes, and do that which is just and 

22 right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgres 
sions which he hath committed, shall not be remembered against 
him ; in his righteousness which he hath done, he shall live. 

23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die ? saith the 
Lord Jehovah, and not that he should turn from his ways and 

24 live ? And when a righteous man turneth from his righteous 
ness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the 
abominations which the wicked man doeth, should he then live ? 
All his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remem 
bered ; in his trespass which he hath committed, and his sin in 

for the crimes of his father, but that the 19-24. Finding the unbelievers still 

father only, being the guilty party, should disposed to indulge in their impudent 

suffer. Instead of X"ni taken by the criminations, notwithstanding the con- 

Masorctcs as a repetition of X" 1 ^ immedi- vincing declarations to the contrary just 

atcly preceding, and by them directed to alleged, Jehovah condescends to adduce 

be read HX"l*l , the full form of the two other instances which equally go to 

future of the same verb, the LXX. have prove the equity of his government, 

read X" 1,)fai <(>o0r)6y, and was afraid, The former is that of a repentant sinner, 

which is followed by the Vulg. and Arab, who is dealt with, not on the score of 

Considering that the difference does not his past transgressions, but on the ground 

amount to more than the change of a of his new obedience : the Most High 

vowel-point, and that it better suits the thereby testifying that he hath pleasure in 

connection, I have without hesitation rewarding right-doing rather than in 

adopted the latter reading. 1j? ^"^"l punishing sin. The latter instance is 

" r^ ? is to be understood in a good that of a righteous man who abandons 

sense to turn back the hand, i.e. from the righteous course which he had been 

oppressing the poor. Comp. chap. xx. pursuing, and indulges in sin. In his 

22, to withdraw the hand from punishing, case, none of the righteous acts that he 



[CHAP. XVIII. 24-31. 

25 which he hath sinned, he shall die in them. Nevertheless ye 
say : The way of the Lord is not equal. Hearken now, O house 
of Israel : is not my way equal ? are not your ways unequal ? 

26 When a righteous man turneth from his righteousness and com- 
mitteth iniquity, and dieth in them, for his iniquity that he hath 

27 done, shall he die. And when a wicked man turneth from his 
wickedness which he hath done, and doeth that which is just and 

28 right, he shall preserve his soul alive. Because he considereth, 
and turueth from all his sins which he hath committed, he shall 

29 surely live ; he shall not die. Yet the house of Israel saith : The 
way of the Lord is not equal. Are not my ways equal, house 

30 of Israel ? are not your ways unequal ? Wherefore I will judge 
you, O house of Israel, each according to his own ways, saith the 
Lord Jehovah : turn ye, and return from all your transgressions, 

had performed should be taken into the 
account, but he should be punished for 
the sinful course which he had preferred 
to that of virtue (Heb. x. 38, 39; 
2 Pet. ii. 20-22). Thus Jehovah equally 
evinced his abhorrence of sin, and his 
love of righteousness. 

25. Jehovah here justly retorts the 
censure employed by the Jews, and 
appeals to their discriminative faculty 
for a. judgment as to the impartiality of 
his proceedings, and of self-condemnation 
on themselves. 

26-28. The two preceding instances 
reversed are again brought forward in 
justification of the divine conduct. 

29. A repetition of the retort em ployed 
ver. 25, which pointedly throws back the 
objection upon the Jews themselves. 

30. This verse contains a personal 
application of the argument, asserting 
Jehovah s determination to deal with the 
Jews individually according to their 
deserts, and calling upon them, in the 
prospect of his judgment, to sincere 
repentance and thorough reformation. 
If these did not ensue, they had nothing 
in prospect but utter destruction. 13*1*3 
W iJn 1 ] , turn ye and return. 

31. Many persons who have perplexed 
themselves with metaphysical specula 
tions relating to human inability, have 
sadly stumbled at the call here given to 

the Jews to make to themselves a new 
heart and a new spirit. Strictly speak 
ing, however, it is nothing more than a 
declaration of the duty of sinners to be 
otherwise minded towards God and holi 
ness than they are. It does not require 
them to create within themselves any 
new faculties that were a physical im 
possibility ; but to exercise in the right 
direction the faculties with which, as 
moral and responsible agents, their M akcr 
has endowed them. These faculties are 
as capable of being exercised in reference 
to good as they are in reference to evil ; 
nay, they may be said to be more so, 
inasmuch as their original destination 
proceeded in that direction. Unhappily 
the mind of the unrencwed is under the 
influence of a corrupt bias and a disin 
clination to choose the right and the 
good ; and while this is the case, their 
natural reluctance to holiness will prove 
an effectual barrier to their submission 
to the will of God. But, so to exhibit 
to their view the injurious consequences 
of a course of wrong-doing as to fill them 
with alarm, and induce them to give a 
patient hearing to the claims of rectitude, 
and finally effect their true conversion 
to God, is perfectly conceivable. The 
discovery of a superior good may prevail 
over their choice of evil so as to super 
induce the contrary choice without in the 

CHAP. XIX. 1.] 



31 that iniquity may not be the cause of your ruin. Cast away 
from you all your sins in which ye have sinned, and make for 
yourselves a new heart and a new spirit ; for why will ye die, 

32 O house of Israel ? For I have no pleasure in the death of him 
that dieth, saith the Lord Jehovah : turn ye, and live. 

least trenching on the freedom of moral 
agency. In this view of the case, there 
is ample room left for the doctrine re 
peatedly and clearly taught in Scrip 
ture, that it is the divine prerogative to 
work a saving change in the hearts of 
32. Completely to silence the cavils 

of unbelievers, what had been urged in 
terrogatively, ver. 23, is here unequiv 
ocally declared, that when Jehovah 
punishes it is not from any delight which 
he takes in the infliction of punishment. 
The very reverse is implied : hence the 
call to repent and live with which the 
chapter concludes. 


An elegy over the fall of the Davidic house and the Jewish state, set forth in the form of 
two parables: the former of the two, that of a lioness and her whelps, 1-9; and the 
latter, that of a fruitful vine, plucked up, and planted in a barren desert after its best 
branches had been burned with fire, 10-14. 

1 AND thou, take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel ; 

2 And say : 

What is thy mother ? A lioness : she lay down among the lions, 

1 . ~t*~ l P. i LXX. Qprivos, a dirge, a lam 
entation, derjy; a species of Hebrew poetry 
characteristic of the melancholy fate of 
those who are the subject of it, and the 
doleful feelings to which it gives utter 
ance. Sometimes, as in that over Saul 
and Jonathan, it is exquisitely tender 
and pathetic. The royal personages 
here referred to, designated "^b 3 
PS Ty? , princes of Israel, were in reality 
those of the kingdom of Judah. They 
arc so called because they were the only 
legitimate rulers of the Hebrew people. 
Those who had reigned over the ten 
tribes were, so far as the theocracy is 
concerned, merely usurpers. The LXX., 
of whose reading Houbigant approves, 
have rbv Spx c " Ta m the singular ; but, 
as Kosenmiilller remarks, though the 
pronominal affix in ^3X , thy mother, is 
in the singular number, with special 

reference to Jchoahaz, then in captivity 
in Egypt, yet, there being more than 
one king referred to in the elegy, the 
plural expressed in the Hebrew text is 
sufficiently justified. ^3^ lioness, is 
certainly, as to form, masculine if pointed 
X^ab , for which Bochart contends ; 
but the sense obviously required by the 
context justifies the Masoretic punctua 
tion, which gives the feminine, however 
contrary to analogy according to that 
author, or savoring of grammatical 
artifice according to Gcscnius. The 
latterotherwise approves of thisconstruc- 
tion, principally on the ground that many 
names of female animals have masculine 

terminations. Arab. S^J 5 &AAJ, 

leaena. The lion being a symbol of 
kingly power, the state, to which the 
monarch owed his birth and which nour- 



[CiiAP. XIX. 1-9. 

3 in the midst of young lions she nourished her whelps ; And 
she brought up one of her whelps, he became a young lion, and 

4 learned to catch the prey ; he devoured men. And the nations 
heard of him ; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him 

5 in chains into the land of Egypt. Now when she saw that de 
layed, perished, was her hope, she took another of her whelps, 

G and made him a young lion. And he went up and down among 
the lions ; he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey : 

7 he devoured men. And he destroyed their palaces, and laid 
waste their cities ; and the land was desolate, and the fulness 

ishcd and supported him, might appro- vey him captive to Babylon, 2 Chron. 

priately be represented as his mother, xxxvi. 10. The words ""I tll S "^ X^FI] 

Comp. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 1. Theconelu- rTr jrn "" 7^ have occasioned some 

ding portion of the verse describes the diversity of interpretation; but little 

position of the Jewish state in relation difficulty will remain, if we take !nr*J?PI , 

to the surrounding monarchies. !~i:2T , /; Jiope, to be the nominative to both 

her lyiny down, is expressive of the feel- the verbs, and render: and she saw that 

ings of false security which she cherished delaynl, perished, was her hope. While 

in that position. Comp. Gen. xlix. 9 ; circumstances seemed to hold out some 

Num. xxiii. 24; xxiv. 9. promise of the restoration of Jehoahaz, 

3, 4. ~^P^ is the apocopated future of the Jewish people cherished some hope, 

Hiphil, and is distinguishable from the but having been disappointed, their hope 

future of Kal only by the connection, at last expired. ilsHl S the Niphal of 

the. young lion here spoken of, was 

Com]). Gen. viii. 12. That only 

Jehoaha/, the son of Josiah, who ail eeted these two princes should he exhibited in 

to be a brave warrior, but, having pro- the parable, maybe accounted for on the 

vokcd the jealousy of 1 haraoh-Xeeho principle, that the others, such as Jchoi- 

was taken prisoner at Riblah in Syria, aehim and Zcdekiah, were placed upon 

and carried captive into Egypt, 2 Kings the throne, one by the king of Egypt, 

xxiii. 33. rn w ,/iit, iselsewhereiised of and the other by the king of Babylon, 

artificial pitfalls for catching wild beasts, and only held it as vassals, whereas 

Sec my Comment, on L;a. xxiv. 17. Jehoahaz was raised to it by the choice 

The term may here be taken as signify- of the people, and Jehoiachin reigned in 

ing a stratagem of war. C TTj were the right of succession. 
properly hooks or rings fastened in the G-9. There is nothing in the historical 

noses of wild beasts, in which a chain or narratives to throw light on this part of 

cord was fastened in order to drag them the parable. In all probability the lions 

about. It is here most appropriately spoken of were the petty kings of the 

applied in reference to the young lion. neighboring states. That P""^?X sig- 

5. IIow long the Jews waited for the nify palaces, sec on Isa. xiii. 22. This is 

restoration of their king from Egypt, we confirmed by Cfl" 1 ^^ , their cities, immc- 

know not ; but either having heard of his diately following. What has originated 

death, or despairing of such restoration, the idea of widows has been the use of 

they proceeded to elect another : namely the verb "If > to know, which has been 

Jehoiachin, the whelp here referred to. supposed to be used here in the cuphcm- 

Tliis prince, it would appear, gave early istie sense of having carnal intercourse 

indicationsofawarlikedisposition, which with. This, however, seems harsh, and 

caused Nebuchadnezzar to send and con- I am inclined, with Houbigant, Dathe, 

CHAP. XIX. 6-14.] 



8 thereof by the noise of his roaring. Then the nations set 
against him on every side from the provinces, and spread their 

9 net over him ; he was taken in their pit. And they put him in 
ward in chains, and brought him to the king of Babylon ; they 
brought him into holds, that his voice might no more be heard 
upon the mountains of Israel. 

10 Thy mother was like a vine in thy quietude, planted by the waters ; 

she was fruitful, and full of branches, by reason of many waters; 

1 1 And she had strong rods for the sceptres of rulers, and her stature 
was exalted among the thick branches and she appeared in her 

12 height in the multitude of her branches. But she was plucked 
up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind 
dried up her fruit ; her strong rods were broken and withered ; 

13 the fire consumed them. And now she is planted in the wilder- 

and others, to suppose that the reading 
must originally have been ""^ > though 
all the Hebrew MSS. have 1 and not "I . 
LXX. tV.ue-ro; Targ. ^SS^et diruit, 
deriving the verb from the root ~~^> to 
break in pieces. Jchoiaehin was carried 
captive to Babylon, where) though a 
prisoner, he was treated with kindness 
by Evil-mcrodach, 2 Kings xxv. 27-30. 
10. Now follows the second parabolic 
representation of the kingdom of Judah 
under the symbol of a vine. It is paral 
lel in language and meaning with chap, 
xvii. 5-10. The same figure had been 
beautifully employed in Ps. Ixxx. ^j r7^ 
rendered by some in thy blood, affords no 
suitable sense. " In thy likeness," the 
rendering of Kimchi, taking CT to be 
equivalent to rWl , resemblance, is like 
wise without any appropriate meaning. 
The LXX. have &s &vOos lv <>, as if 
they had read "j^? The reading 
*]"?"!? > tfii/ vineyard, which is found in 
one of Kcnnicott s and in one of 
De Rossi s MSS., and approved by 
Gesenius, who renders : "("?"? "?5? j like 
a vine, of thy vineyard, must also be con 
sidered as insufficiently supported. On 
the whole, I must acquiesce in the inter 
pretation of Piscator, adopted by Haver- 
nick, in silentio tuo, from BW , Arab. 

l<^5 to be quiet, still, understanding 

thereby the period of the Jewish history 
previous to the troubles and disasters 
which that people had brought upon 
themselves in punishment of their idola 
tries. At that time all was quiet and 
prosperous. Comp. Isa. xxxviii. 10. 

11. 12 rVIOQ, strong rods, i.e. princes 
of the royal house. In her prosperous 
state, the Jewish kingdom so far from 
resembling one of those vines which creep 
upon the ground, was comparable to 
one trained up by the side of a wall, or 
supported by a tree. Some of these are 
carried to a great height, such as that 
mentioned by Schulz, the stem of which 
was a foot and a half in diameter, and 
about thirty feet high, while its branches 
formed a tent of upwards of fifty feet 
square. See Kitto, article VINE. T?"? 
a kind of compound adverb, the ?> 
expressing the elevated position of the 
vine, to which the affix "i in "i~^"P is to 
be referred, though masculine in form, 
on the ground that no distinct recogni 
tion of sex is imaginable. 

12, 13. With the formerly prosperous 
condition of the Jewish people, the 
prophet here contrasts the deplorable cir 
cumstances to which they were reduced 
in the captivity. 

14. Iliivernick appropriately calls at 
tention to the circumstance, that tho 
fire is said to proceed from a rod of her 

E Z E K I E L . 

[CHAP. XX. 1-4. 

14 ness, in a dry and thirsty land. And fire is gone out of a rod 
of her branches ; it hath devoured her fruit ; and she hath no 
strong rod, a sceptre to rule. It is a lamentation, and shall be 
for a lamentation. 

branches, which he properly interprets 
as symbolizing Zedckiah, which Cocceius 
had done before him. It was his revolt 
from Nebuchadnezzar which caused that 
monarch to inarch his army into Judca, 
take Jerusalem, and cany the Jews 
captive to Babylon. Thus an end was 
put to the vine and its branches 11 con 
summation which every Jewish patriot 
must deeply have bewailed. 

Resuming the word f-^h* > a lament, 

with which he had commenced the sec 
tion, the prophet energetically concludes: 

nrfxb-^nri: N^n nrp , It "is a lamenta 
tion, and xliall be Jbr a lamentation. Part 
of the dirge had received its accomplish 
ment, and was matter of history; the 
concluding part, relating to Zcdekiah, 
belonged still to unfulfilled prophecy. 
As the former had been fulfilled in the 
melancholy experience of the nation, so 
the latter should be, within a brief period. 


Certain of the elders of Israel having come to the prophet to consult him respecting the 
issue of events, 1, he is instructed not to give them any direct answer, but to exhibit to 
their view the puilt which, as a people, they hud contracted in l- pypt, 2-9, and after 
wards in the wilderness, 10-20, and in the land of ( anaan, 27-32. Jehovah then 
promises that after lie shall have punished them in Babylon, and thereby purged away 
their idolatrous impurities, he will restore them to their ancient inheritance, 4IJ-34. 

1 AND it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the 

tenth of the month, that certain men of the ciders of Israel came 

2 to consult Jehovah, and they sat before me. And the word of 
Jehovah came unto me saying ; Son of man, speak to the elders 
of Israel, and say to them : Thus speaketh the Lord Jehovah : 
Are ye come to consult me ? As I live, I will not be consulted 

1 . The epoch from which the compu 
tation is here made is that of the 
deportation of Jechoniah to Babylon 
(chap. i. 2; viii. 1.) We arc not told 
what was the subject on which the ciders 
came to obtain information, but there 
can be no doubt that it had respect to 
the termination of the captivity which 
had recently commenced. A similar 
deputation had on a former occasion, as 
now, taken their position before the 
prophet (chap. xiv. 1). 

2-4. Instead of holding out any hopes 

to them at the outset, the prophet is 
charged to pronounce upon the people 
the judgments which their rebellious 
conduct had merited. Jehovah declares, 
in the most solemn manner, that he will 
not hearken to the application made by 
the ciders, which sufficiently shows that 
their sufferings had not yet effected any 
real reformation in their conduct. Comp. 
Ps. Ixvi. 18. Instead of ^"TTS , vcr. 3, 
upwards of thirty MSS. read *2~T bx , 
which reading is also found in an early 
printed Ileb. Bible. The <"] in the dupli- 

CHAP. XX. 2-9.] EZEKIEL. 105 

4 by you, saith the Lord Jehovah. Wilt thou judge them, wilt 
thou judge ; O son of man ? Cause them to know the abomina- 

5 tions of their fathers. And say to them : Thus saith the Lord 
Jehovah : In the day when I chose Israel, then I lifted up my 
hand to the seed of the house of Jacob, and I made myself 
known to them in the land of Egypt ; yea, I lifted up my hand 

G to them, saying : I, Jehovah, am your God In the day that I 
lifted up my hand to them to bring them out of the land of 
Egypt into a land which I had searched out for them, flowing 
7 with milk and honey ; it was the glory of all lands : Then I said 
to them : Cast ye away each one the detestable objects of his 
eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt : I, 

8 Jehovah, am your God. But they rebelled against me, and would 
not hearken to me ; they cast not away each one the detestable 
objects of his eyes, and did not forsake the idols of Egypt. 
Then I threatened to pour out my wrath upon them, to exhaust 
mine anger upon them, in the midst of the land of Egypt. 

9 Nevertheless, I wrought for my name s sake, not to profane it 
in the eyes of the nations in whose midst they were, to whom I 
made myself known in their sight by bringing them out of the 

cate form of the question vcr. 4, strongly account of the practice of idolatry hy 
implies the affirmative. It was what the the Hebrews while in Egypt, yet it is 
prophet could not but do. The case was expressly stated, Josh. xxiv. 14; and 
so sclf-cvidently flagrant, that lie must indeed, it is scarcely conceivable that 
at once have been prompted to execute they could have escaped the contagion, 
his commission. In holding up to the surrounded as they were on every hand 
view of the living generation the rebel- with idols and idol worship, and as yet 
lious conduct of their fathers, he would but imperfectly acquainted with the char- 
furnish them with a portraiture of their acter and will of the only living and 
own. ^S J signifies not merely tojiidyp, true God. It is also implied in the 
but also frequently, as here, to conduct history of the golden calf, Exod. xxxii. 
a cause before a tribunal by adducing or that they had still in their hearts a 
hearing such evidence as bears upon it, hankering after the gods of Egypt. See 
and shall lead to the delivery of a right- also ver. 24 of the present chapter, 
eous sentence. D^ijWl and C^S p J arc two of the 

f>, 6. The threefold repetition of the strongest words in the Hebrew language 
lifting of the hand is designed to prove by which to express theabhorent charac- 
thc earnestness of the gracious purpose ter of idols. The idea of polluted, jiltlijj, 
of God to effect the deliverance of his is inherent in them. Not only the mis- 
people from Egyptian bondage. Such erablc circumstances of their external 
an action, accompanying the taking of condition, but still more the state of 
an oath, betokened a solemn appeal to spiritual degradation into which the 
the Deity, and is here used anthropo- Hebrews had sunk, infinitely magnified 
morphically in reference to God. the divine mercy which intcrped for 

7-9. Though Moses gives us no their deliverance. "Where sin abounded, 


E Z E K I E L . 

[CHAP. XX. 9-24. 

10 land of Egypt. And I led them out of the land of Egypt, and 

11 brought them into the desert. And I gave them my statutes, 
and made known to them my judgments, which if a man do, he 

12 shall live by them. I also gave them my sabbaths to be a sign 
between me and them, that they might know that I, Jehovah, am 

13 their sanetiu rr. But the house of Israel rebelled against me in 
the desert; they walked not in my statutes, but loathed my 
judgments, which if a man do he shall live by them, and they pro 
faned my sabbaths exceedingly : then I threatened to pour out 

14 my wrath upon them in the desert to consume them. ^Never 
theless, I wrought for my name s sake, not to pollute it in the 
sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them forth. 

15 And I also lifted up my hand unto them in the desert, not to 
bring them into the land which I had granted, flowing with milk 

1C and honey ; it was the glory of all lands : Because they loathed 
my judgments and did not walk in my statues, but profaned my 

17 sabbaths; for their heart walked after their idols. But mine 
eyes took pity upon them not to destroy them ; and I did not 

18 consume them in the desert. And I said to their children in the 
desert: Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither 
observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 

grace did much more abound." The 
glory of this, as well as of the other attri 
butes of Jehovah, was the ultimate end 
which he had in view in bringing them 
forth from the house of bondage. This, 
is described, ver. 0, as his C J , name, i.e. 
the sum-total of his known perfections. 
See Rom. ix. 17 ; 2 Sum. vii. 23 ; Isa.lxiii. 
1 2. The preservation of that name from 
desecration is repeatedly spoken of in 
this chapter; sec verses 14, 22, 39. 

10, 11. Having rescued the Hebrews 
from the tryanny of Pharaoh, and led 
them into the wilderness of Sinai, the 
Lord delivered to them the law by the 
hand of Moses. Obedience to the law 
would secure happiness. 

12. It would appear from this verse, 
as well as from the wording of the fourth 
commandment, that the rest of I he 
Sabbath had been intermitted in Egypt. 
nx signifies a sl /n, token, memorial, here 
a proof or demonstration of the relation 
subsisting between Jehovah and the 

Hebrew people, and which, as enjoined 
upon them, was specially designed to 
keep up the remembrance of ilu-ir deliv 
erance from Kgypf, Kxod. xx\i. 13-17; 
Dent. v. 15. Though instituted at the 
creation of the world, and consequently 
binding upon all mankind, the day of 
rest was enforced with fresh obligations 
upon the Hebrews. Its observance or 
desecration will always be a demonstra 
tion of the state of religion among any 
people. The practical result of its 
sanctification will be an experimental 
acquaintance wiih the holy character of 
(Jod, whose immediate object in enjoin 
ing it is to promote the holiness and 
happiness of his creatures. The seventh- 
day Sabbath was such by way of 
eminence, and its enactment formed part 
of the moral code. The other Jewish 
festivals, so called, were more ceremonial 
in their character. 

13-24. Here the contrast between the 
divine character and that of the Israel- 

CHAP. XX. 24-26.] 

E Z E K I E L . 


19 I, Jehovah, am your God; walk in my statutes and observe my 

20 judgments and do them : And ye shall sanctify my sabbaths, 
that they may be a sign between me and you, that ye may know 

21 that I, Jehovah, am your God. But the children rebelled 
against me ; they walked not in my statutes, and observed not 
my judgments to do them, which if a man do he shall even live 
by them ; they profaned my sabbaths ; then I threatened to pour 
out my wrath upon them, to exhaust mine anger on them in the 

22 desert. But I held back my hand, and wrought for my name s 
sake, not to profane it in the sight of the nations in whose sight 

23 I had brought them out. I also lifted up my hand to them in 
the desert to scatter them among the nations, and to disperse 

24 them among the countries : Because they did not execute my 
judgments, but loathed my statutes and polluted my sabbaths, 

25 and their eyes were towards the idols of their fathers: Where 
fore also I gave them statutes that were not good, and judg- 

26 ments by which they should not live. And I polluted them 
in their own gifts, in their causing to pass through the fire 
all that openeth the womb, that I might destroy them, that they 

ites in the wilderness stands out most 
prominently. Though so recently deliv 
ered from Egyptian slavery, and with 
the prospect of the promised land before 
them, they nevertheless proved refractory 
and rebellious. Had it not been for the 
divine lougsuffcTing, they must have 
perished in the wilderness. 

25. Various attempts have been made 
to get rid of the apparent incongruity of 
the language here employed by the 
Divine Being. Taken absolutely it 
would be flatly contradictory of the 
purity and rectitude of his character, as 
well as of that of the laws which he 
actually pave to the Israelites. See 
Deut. iv. 8 ; Neh. ix. 13 ; Rom. vii. 12. 
The solution of the difficulty proposed 
by Manasseh Ben-Israel, that the words 
should be read interrogatively, is alto 
gether unsupported by the structure of 

parison with Ps. Ixxxi. 12; Hos. viii. 11 ; 
Acts vii. 42 ; Rom. i. 24 ; 2 Thcss. ii. 1 1. 
Because the Hebrews cherished a pro 
pensity to indulge in idolatrous practices, 
God, in his holy providence, brought them 
into circumstances in which this pro 
pensity might be fully gratified, without 
his in any way imposing upon them the 
statutes of the Pagan ritual. On the 
contrary, he did all that was calculated 
in the way of moral influence to deter 
them from idolatry. Preferring, however, 
the rites and ceremonies of the heathen 
to his holy and righteous ordinances, 
they experienced not only that they were 
not good, but as the language, by mei- 
osis, imports, that they were most per 

20. The language of this verse is quite 
in accordance with that of the preceding. 
The Holy One did not actually pollute 

the sentence, and is otherwise not borne the people; he only permitted them to 

out by Hebrew usage. I agree with 
those interpreters who arc of opinion, 
that the reference is to the idolatrous 
enactments of the heathen, and that the 

pollute themselves, and pronounced them 
polluted when they had rend: red ilinu- 
selvcs such. In the language of the 
Hebrews, and of the Orientals in general, 

language may be best illustrated by com- God is frequently said to do that which 



[CHAP. XX. 26-30. 





might know that I am Jehovah. Therefore, speak to the house 
of Israel, O son of man, and say to them : Thus saith the Lord 
Jehovah : Thus further did your fathers dishonour me, in that 
they grievously trespassed against me. When I brought them 
into the land, which I had lifted up my hand to give it to them, 
then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and there 
they offered their sacrifices, and there they presented the provo 
cation of their offering, and there they placed their sweet odors, 
and there they poured out their drink-offerings. Then I said to 
them : What is the high place to which ye come ? And they 
called its name Bamah (Jtif/Ji place) unto this day. Wherefore 
speak to the house of Israel ; Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : 
Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? and. Do ye 

he permits to be done. Comp. Storrii 
Observatt. ad. Analog, ct Syntax. Ilchr. 
p. 25, etc., and Hackspan in Nott. Phil- 
ologico-Theolog. in varia SS. loca, P. ii. 
p. 897, etc. "I n 2> ?? elliptic-ally for "i^V" 
UX2 , to cause to ]>ass t/irvui/li the Jire, 
i.e. as sacrifices to Moloch, Dent, xviii. 
10; 2 Kings xvi. 3; xxiii. 10; Ezck. 
xx. 31. In this case, the sin was signally 
its own punishment ; for what could 
have been more harrowing to the feelings 
of a parent s heart than thus to put his 
first-l>orn infant-offspring to exquisite 
torture in honor of a grim idol ? Gt X , 
to fail in duty, contract f/iii/t, stijf er punish 
ment. LXX. afyavifa. 

27-G2. After once more adducing the 
rebellious conduct of their fathers, even 
after they had been introduced into the 
land of Canaan, the prophet roundly 
charges the Jews of his own time with 
having committed the same sins, and 
therefore shows that they had no reason 
to expect exemption from deserved 

27. TlS , yet, still, is emphatic. Instead 
of being moved by a sense of gratitude 
for the divine goodness manifested in 
the fulfilment of the solemn promises 
which God had made to the Hebrews, to 
induce them to return to his service from 
that of idols, the aneient Israelites per 
sisted in the practice of idolatry. In 
PNt is an ellipsis of ? 

28. The 3 in WCjl is simply contin- 
uativc, and is in this connection un 
susceptible of the construction which 
Iliivernick puts upon it, as if it were 
designed to express the idea that the 
Hebrews joined the worship of idols to 
that of the true God. It merely unites 
the two clauses. 

29. Michae iis is of opinion that i"l*2 is 
equivalent to Mp N2 , and renders : vciiit 
nescio ad quid; but this appears far 
fetched. There docs not appear to be 
anything more than a paronomasia in 
the words ^7?*" am E"X2n , j us t as 
there is in H"3 and <*"^3 There is no 
reason to believe that the ancient Hebrews 
attached any other etymological idea to 
fT3 than their descendants who applied 
it to places of idolatrous worship erected 
on mountains or other eminences. IJoot 
IT^S , to be hiyh ; equivalent to "^"7? 
LXX. T( ecmv a^afjid. Owing to the 
idolatrous purposes to which the heathen 
prostituted such high places, Moses in 
terdicted the use of them even for the 
worship of the true God, Dent. xii. 1-5. 
The exceptions, which we meet with in 
the Jewish history, of David and other 
pious men sacrificing on eminences, 
took place under peculiar circumstances, 
mostly before the altar was set up on 
Mori ah. 

30. The interrogations in this verse 
strongly imply the affirmative. The 

CHAP. XX. 31-37.] EZEKIEL. 109 

31 commit whoredom after their abominations? For when ye offer 
your gifts in causing your children to pass through the fire ye 
pollute yourselves with all your idols unto this day : and should 
I be consulted by you, O house of Israel ? As I live, saith the 

32 Lord Jehovah, I will not be consulted by you. And that which 
cometh up in your mind shall by no means happen, which ye 
say : We will be as the nations, as the families of the countries 

33 to serve wood and stone. As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, 
surely with a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, and 

34 with fury poured out, I will rule over you. And I will bring 
you out from the peoples, and gather you from the countries in 
which ye have been scattered, with a strong hand, and with an 

35 outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring 
you into the desert of the peoples, and contend with you there 

36 face to face. As I contended with your fathers in the desert 
of the land of Egypt so will I contend with you, saith the Lord 

37 Jehovah. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and 

38 will cause you to enter into the bond of the covenant. And I 
will separate from among you the rebellious, and those who sin 
against me ; I will cause them to go forth from the land of 
their sojournings, but they shall not come into the land of Israel, 

Jews addressed were equally guilty with partly with reference to the vast tracts 

their fathers. of desert country which lay between 

31. Between such characters and the Judea and Babylon and in other parts of 
holy God of Israel, there could be no that empire, and partly as parallel with 
communion. The application, therefore, the wilderness of Arabia, to direct the 
referred to, ver. 3, was utterly fruitless, thoughts of the Jews back to thepunish- 

32. The Jews flattered themselves that ments which were there inflicted upon 
none of the heavy judgments with which their fathers. Jehovah threatens to deal 
the prophets had threatened them would with them as in open court, by clearing 
come upon them, and that they should those who had repented of their wicked- 
be allowed unmolested to indulge their ness, and punishing the obstinate, as he 
idolatrous propensities. had done their fathers of old. 

33. This verse and those which follow 37. All attempts to derive PHO^ in 
strongly contrast with that which goes the phrase rVHSfl " I ? > the bond of the 
before. The Jews had imagined that covenant, from any other root than "CX , 
their dispersion would not extend beyond to bind, have proved unsatisfactory. The 
the neighboring countries ; but Jehovah Jews should be brought, by means of 
declares that he would punish them the severe discipline which they should 
severely, until he had thoroughly cor- undergo, to a due sense of their obliga- 
rccted the evils which had prevailed tions to obey the divine law. By the 
among them, and then he would restore ancient covenant they should again be 
them to Jerusalem. bound to the service of Jehovah. See 

35-39. C^Sa^n "iSn 1 ? , the desert of the for the accomplishment of the prophecy, 
peoples, a phrase apparently selected, Nch. ix., x. 


E Z E K I E L . 

[CHAP. XX. 38-44 

39 and ye shall know that I am Jehovah. And ye, O house of 
Israel, thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Go ye, serve ye every one 
his idols, and afterwards, since ye will not hearken unto me, 
profane not my holy name any more with your gifts and with 

40 your idols. For upon my holy mountain, upon the mountain 
of the height of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah, there shall all 
the house of Israel serve me, all of them in the land ; there will 
I be favorable to them, and there will I require your heave- 
offerings, and the first-fruits of your oblations in all your holy 

41 things. With a sweet savor I will accept you, when I bring 
3 ou out from the peoples, and gather you from the countries in 
which I scattered you, and I will be sanctified among you in the 

42 sight of the nations. And ye shall know that I am Jehovah, 
when I bring you into the land of Israel, to the land which I 

43 lifted up my hand to give it to your fathers. And ye shall 
remember there your ways, and all your doings by which ye are 
polluted, and ye shall be loathsome in your own sight for all 

38. The language hero implies that 
the great body of the nation should be 
recovered from idolatry, and return to 
their native land, and that only a portion 
would continue in a state of rebel 
lion against Jehovah, and consequently 
remain in exile. ""H"" 1 ? lias been sug 
gested by P" 1 "*;? , with which the preced 
ing verse concludes, and with it forms a 
paronomasia. "1^3 is here to be taken, 
not in the sense of morally cleansing the 
persons spoken of, hut in that of su-parat- 
iiifj them from regenerated Israel, as 
dross is from purified metal. 

39. Jehovah here utterly disowns all 
relationship with the rebels. lie would 
have idolatrous worship severed from all 
connection with his name. The tone in 
which they are addressed is one of the 
keenest irony. Comp. Kcv. xxii. 11. It 
is as much as to say : Well, .since you 
will not listen to me and return to my 
service, you may take your own course, 
we henceforth part company. "HX!, 
and aflcnmrds, is intended to give 
emphasis to the address, and anticipates 
the continued apostasy of the rebels. 

40. By " the mountain of the height 
of Israel "we are to understand mount 

Morinh. In the preceding verse the 
rebellious portion of the people are called 
" the house of Israel," because they re 
tained the character by which that people 
had been notoriously distinguished. In 
this verse the designation is given to 
the nation in a good sense, as restored 
to the practice of true religion. They 
should no longer repair with their offer 
ings to the high places throughout the 
land, but should all congregate at the 
appointed festivals, as of old, at Jerusa 
lem and there present acceptable worship 
to their covenant God. 

41, 42. The restoration of the Hebrews 
fro:n tlie captivity, and the re-establish- 
mcnt of their religious services, would 
have the double effect of procuring 
honor to Jehovah from the surrounding 
nations, and attesting in their own ex 
perience the happiness springing out 
of the true knowledge of the divine char 

4 i, 44. Contrasting their renewed 
condition with their former abominations, 
they would be filled with self-abhorrence 
on account of all their wicked ways 
Genuine and deep contrition always 
accompanies true conversion. See Neh. 


44 your evils which ye have committed. And ye shall know that I 
am Jehovah, when I deal with you for my name s sake ; not 
according to your wicked ways, and according to your corrupt 
doings, O house of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah. 

ix. Nothing tends so much to deepen mercy of God, who, when he might have 
this contrition as the view which is justly inflicted unmitigated wrath, re- 
obtained of the forbearing and forgiving members unmerited mercy. 

Here the chapter properly concludes in the Hebrew Bible, and in several of the 
versions. The following five verses so evidently belong to the following chapter, 
that they ought never to have been separated. 


This chapter, to which the five concluding verses of that preceding are introductory, 
relates to the conquest of Judea and Jerusalem by the Chaldeans; and was delivered 
about live years before that event. The prophet begins by delivering a parable of a 
forest on fire, 1-5 (chap. xx. 45-49). lie then changes the figure employed in the 
parable to that of an unsheathed sword drawn against the guilty land of Israel, 6-10; 
and, to denote the greatness of the catastrophe, uses signs of vehement grief, 11-12. 
He next resumes the figure of the drawn sword, and enlarges upon it, in order more 
forcibly to set forth the calamities i;f the war, 13-22; after which the king of Babylon 
is introduced into the scene, divining by arrows in order to determine which of the two 
capitals he should attack first, Kabbah or Jerusalem, 23-29. Zcdekiah, the last king of 
the Jews, is now pointedly addressed ; and, after a prediction of the total overthrow of 
the Jewish affairs, the advent of the Messiah is promised, 30-32. The last live verses 
form a distinct prophecy against the Ammonites, 33-37. 

Most interpreters have grievously complained of the obscurity which rests over this section 
of our prophet, and the unsettled state of the text, to which, in part, it is attributable. 
Still, with all the difficulties, the general import may easily be determined. In some 
portions the language is smooth and easy ; in others, it is abrupt and rugged, resembling, 
as Havernick suggests, the struggle of a war-song, and is thus in perfect keeping with 
the subject to which it refers. 

1 AXD the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying : Son of man, 

2 set thy face towards the south, and drop thy word towards the 
south, and prophesy towards the forest of the field of the south, 

2. There are three words in the Hebrew prophet, and once in the Pentateuch, is 

text of this verse to express south : T9"n , found only in Job and Ecclesiastes. The 

D"i~n , and 233 . They are merely used derivation, as Fiirst remarks, is still Iv 

as synonymcs for the sake of varying the alviynaai. 233, 233 in the Samar., 

expression. The first is derived from Chald., and Syr. dialects, signifies to be 

V?7. be n the rif/ht, borrowed with dry, dried op: hence the south, where the 

reference to the position of the quarter heat of the sun is most severely felt, 

of the heavens when facing the cast : The LXX. retain the original terms 

hence also "pS^ , signifying both the rlijld Qai^dv, SopoV, vaytfi. The Vulg. lias 

hand, and the south. O"i"n is of less fre- Atistri, AfVicum, and Meridian!. All the 

quent ocurrencc, and besides in our three terms specially apply here to the 


E Z E K I E I, . 

[CHAP. XXI. 2-8. 

3 And say to the forest of the south : Hear the word of Jehovah : 
Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Behold, I will kindle a fire in 
thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, aud every 
withered tree ; the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all 
faces shall be scorched therein, from the south to the north. 

4 And all flesh shall see that I, Jehovah, have kindled it : it shall 

5 not be quenched. Then I said : Ah, Lord Jehovah ! they say 
G of me : Doth he not speak parables ? Then the word of Jehovah 

7 came to me, saying : Son of man, set thy face towards Jeru 
salem, and drop thy word towards the holy places, and prophesy 

8 against the land of Israel. And say to the land of Israel : Thus 
saith Jehovah : Behold, I am against thee, and will draw my 
sword out of its scabbard, and will cut off from thee the risht- 

southcrn division of the Holy Land, of 
which at the time Jerusalem was the 
capital. Whether the words arc designed 
to suggest the direction in reference to 
the position of the prophet in Babylon, 
as some suppose, may fairly be questioned. 
-?.? i" 1 ""^ > instead of 2;sn , as it stands 
ver. 3. The Article occupies its present 
position, contrary to rule, by attraction 
to the preceding "C* , which it was 
designed to render specially definite. 

By " the forest" is meant the densely 
populated country of Judea, trees being 
understood figuratively to denote the 
inhabitants. ~^ , drop, a term bor 
rowed from the falling of rain, or the 
dropping of honey, and generally em 
ployed to denote gentle, flowing, and 
pleasing discourse ; but here used of 
what the prophet was sternly to deliver 
in the way of commination. It is often 
used of prophesying. 

3. The forest, apostrophised, is here 
declared to be set on fire by Jehovah, 
and consumed by an universal conflagra 
tion. In r^."]5w r^nb i a paronoma 
sia. To express the fearful character of 
the conflagration, the prophet employs 
this peculiar phrase, compounded of two 
forms of the same word, the latter of 
which is taken from the Shaphcl conju 
gation in Aramaic. Their common root 

is anb, Arab. v^gJ , Eth. AUfi to 

burn, inflame. 2*"iJJ , Arab. i^_j3 ; per- 

cussit, piinrif, to scorch, burn. Prom the 
use of "V.1 ~S3 , vcr. 9, it is evident, that 
L-rS bs is to be taken in the sense of all 
faces or persons, and not extended so as 
to denote all parts of the country the 
whole supcrficcs as Koscnmiillcr, Mau- 
rer, and Ilitzig interpret. 

5. Desirous of shifting off the applica 
tion of the prophecy to themselves, the 
Jews pretend not to understand it. 
They accuse Exekiel of employing a high 
parabolic style. 

6, 7. The prophet is now instructed 
to address himself directly against the 
city which had been specially consecrated 
to Jehovah, but which the Jews had 
polluted with their idolatries. D^IL^pE , 
sanctuaries, include not only the temple 
with its holy places, but also the other 
edifices appropriated in purer times to 
divine worship, and afterwards called 
synagogues. Ps. Ixxiii. 17. Instead of 
of C v :J i 2 however, three MSS. read 
^ -; ;IP? > th(:ir sanctuary, which reading 
is supported by the Syr., but the LXX., 
Vulg., and Arab, exhibit the plural. 

8. The symbol of fire is here exchanged 
for that of sword, which afterwards, with 
much force, occupies so prominent a 
place in the chapter. The Jews were 
not yet to be told in plain language 
what was to befall them. What had 

CHAP. XXI. 8-14.] 



9 eous and the wicked. Because I will cut off from thee the 
righteous and the wicked, therefore my sword shall go forth out 

10 of its scabbard against all flesh from the south to the north. And 
all flesh shall know that I, Jehovah, have drawn my sword out 

11 of its scabbard : it shall not return any more. And thou, son 
of man, groan with the breaking of thy loins, and with bitterness 

12 groan in their sight. And it- shall be when they shall say unto 
thee : Why groanest thou ? then thou shalt say : For the report, 
because it cometh : and every heart shall melt, and all hands 
shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall 
flow as water ; behold, it cometh, and shall take effect, saith the 
Lord Jehovah. 

13 Again the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying: Son of man, 

14 prophesy and say : Thus saith Jehovah : Say, a sword! a sword! 

been told them was intelligible enough 
to those who were inclined to receive 
instruction. Tanchum interprets P"" 7 !^? 
riijhtious, of those who regarded them 
selves as such, though they were not 
such in reality. The term would rather 
seem to be here used antithetically with 
- ^7 , wicked, for the purpose of indica 
ting the universality of the destruction 
which was coming upon the country. It is 
as much as to say, that all should be in 
volved in the common calamity. What 
is thus declared is quite in accordance 
with what we daily witness in the history 
of our race. Afflictions arc the common 
lot of all. In national calamities, so far 
as suffering viewed simply in itself is 
concerned, no outward distinction is 
made between the good and the bad. 
Both appear to be trpated substantially 
alike. There is no real contradiction, 
however, between the doctrine taught in 
this passage, and that vindicated chap, 
xviii. Though removed from their 
native land along with the wicked, inas 
much as they were nationally connected 
with them, yet the righteous were to be 
regarded only as the subjects of corrective 
discipline, whereas to the idolatrous Jews 
the sufferings were unmitigated punish 
ment. The LXX., unable to reconcile 
the text with their conceptions of the 

Divine government have rendered P 
S"w" n 1 ] by &vo/j.oi> Kal &SIKOV, the lawless 
and unrighteous. "(IBS> , vcr. 9, 
wants the local n at the end of the latter 
word, which is expressed ""9"ES 252E) , 
ver. 3. " From south to north," takes 
in the whole extent of the country. 

11. The more deeply to affect his 
countrymen with a sense of the dire 
calamities which were soon to overtake 
them, the prophet is commanded openly 
to assume the appearance of a per son in 
deep distress ; clasping his loins with 
his hands, as sadly bruised, and giving 
utterance to piteous groans in the bit 
terness of his spirit, he was to present 
himself before them. 

12. The import of the prophetic signs 
is here expressly declared. As they saw 
the prophet, so should it be universally 
throughout the land. 

14. The prophet now proceeds to 
enlarge upon the symbol of the sword, 
which he had introduced, ver. 8. All is 
now ready for the onslaught. The repe 
tition in 2"^n 2"in , a sword, a sword, is 
not without effect definitely pointing 
to the destructive weapon to be employed 
in the war. To augment the terror 
which the announcement was calculated 
to inspire, the sword is described as 
sharpened, prepared to do exe- 



[CnAP. XXI. 14-18. 

15 both sharpened and polished ! It is sharpened, that slaying, it 
may slay ; it is polished, that it may glitter : should we make 

1C mirth? the rod of my son contemneth every tree. And he gave 
it to be polished, that it might be handled ; it is a shai pcned 
sword, and it is polished, to give it into the hand of the slayer. 

17 Cry out and howl, O son of man, for it shall be against my 
people, against all the princes of Israel, they are delivered to 
the sword together with my people, therefore smite upon thy 

18 thigh. Surely it is tried ; and what, if indeed the rod despise ! 

cntion, and also tlli l"!^ , polished. Root 
^1"^ to smoothr, polish, particularly the 
head by pirn-king out the hair : here 
transferred to the sword, i" 1 -?"" 1 "? > the 
Pahul participle of Kal ; l"*^"^, in the 
following verses, a contracted form of 
ttl*"~~ , the participle of Fual. The 
Dagcsh is euphonic 1 , but is omitted in 
several MSS. Theglitteringofabriglitly 
polished sword, wielded in the sun, is 
truly terrific. Comp. Deut. xxxii. 41 ; 
Job xx. 2"). 

15. The sword was one of the deadliest 
weapons of ancient warfare ; hence the 
frequent reference to it, when wars, of 
which it is considered as the appropriate 
symbol, arc spoken of in the Old Test. 
W i S "^N is abruptly introduced, and has 
much perplexed interpreters. The best 
sense appears to be that brought out in our 
common version, in which CTwS is taken 
as the first person plural of the future 
in Kal of the root CIO or C n C , to rejoice, 
be f/lad, merry, or the like. There is thus 
no occasion for any conjectural emenda 
tion. The only difficulty, with such 
construction, lies in the particle IX , which 
I consider to be used simply as an in 
terrogative conjunction. Reproving his 
countrymen for their indulgence in levity 
and mirth, when such dire calamity was 
staring them in the face, he asks : should 
we make mirth ? implying that nothing 
could be worse-timed under such cir 
cumstances. Compare for the sentiment 
Isa. v. 11, 12; Amos vi. 5. The sword 
of Nebuchadnezzar would no more spare 
Judah than any other nation. It is 
represented as setting at nought the Jew 

ish power equally with that of every 
other people. None had been able to 
withstand the universal conqueror. S3 20 , 
rod, is here used of the instrument of 
correction or punishment, and the Geni 
tive in "03 S33O , the rod of mtj son, is 
that of object: i.e. the instrument cm- 
ployed in punishing my son, as CEH 
r ( *nx , the violence of thy brother, means, 
the violence done to thy brother. "C3 , 
my son, designates the Jewish people, as 
in IIos. xi. 1. J"CXE is the regular 
feminine participle of CX- , to despise, 
connected with S32O an epicoene noun. 
Y~. > free, is used figuratively to denote a 
prince or ruler, as in chap. xvii. 24. 

1C. l^j And lie huth fjiven, used im 
personally for and it is yivcn, according 
to an idiom common in Hebrew. The 
instrument of destruction was quite pre 
pared, and only required to be employed 
by Jehovah against his apostate people. 

17. The object of the Chaldean expe 
dition is here definitely pointed out. 
The Jews were not to delude themselves 
with the idea that it was Egypt, or any 
other neighboring nation, that was to 
be attacked. The punishment was to 
be inflicted indiscriminately upon them 
selves. The prophet is on this account 
again charged to exhibit tokens of ex 
treme sorrow, sr-r!* 3"in bx "nwa, 
delivered up to the sicord together with my 

1 8. "O is here used, not as a particle 
marking cause or reason, but, as fre 
quently at the beginning of sentences, 
expressing certainty. "|H3 isthePualof 
"(HS , to try, prove. Comp. fcZ "i^X , Isa. 

CHAP. XXI. 18-22.] 



19 it shall not be, saith the Lord Jehovah. And thou, son of man, 
prophesy, and smite thine hands together, and let the sword be 
doubled a third time, the sword of the slain ; it is the sword of 

20 the great slaughter, which besiegeth them. That the heart may 
melt, and the fallen be numerous in all their gates, I have made 
bare the sword ; alas ! it is made to glitter, it is drawn to slay. 

21 Be united, strike on the right, attack on the left, whither thy face 

22 is appointed. And I also will smite my hands together, and 

xxviii. 16. The nominative is E3/J , the 
rod, i.e. of chastisement, the Babylonian 
power. CJ gives emphasis to it, and may 
here be rendered, indeed. If Nebuchad 
nezzar should really despise the resistance 
made by the Jewish state, which he did 
(comp. ver. 15), what was to be expected 
as the consequence ? That state must 
necessarily come to an end. <"i^T? ^ > 
it shall not be. Such I regard as the 
meaning of this most difficult verse. 

19. The words nrbibb 3-7.71 SEari, 
however apparently obscure, arc properly 
susceptible of no other rendering than 
that given in the common version : and 
let the su~ord be doubled a third lime. 
They seem designed to express the tre 
mendous size and power of the sword to 
be employed. It was no ordinary foe 
that was to attack the Jews. All hopes 
of escape were vain. It was a sword 
that had been well tried ; and proved 
successful in many abattle. C"?bn 3^n, 
the sword of the slain. Numerous were 
the victims who had perished by it. ^H 
I take to be a noun signifying slaughter. 
Comp. b ~"9 from 5U^2 , and "Cb from 

-cb . b-nr,r bbn 3-nn , the sword of the 

great slaughter. There may be a reference 
to the great battle at Charehcmish, in 
which the king of Babylon had been vic 
torious over his powerful rival. P"Hnn 

" * 

C"? , which bcsci(jf.s them, encircles them. 

with reference to an army of swordsmen 
surrounding a city in a state of siege. 

20, 21. 3"irrrrnX , the naked sicord, 
being spoken of in connection with the 
gates of the city, confirms the interpre 
tation given of ^"IH in the preceding 
verse in regard to the besieging of a city. 

Numerous derivations have been pro 
posed for firi3X, but give little satisfac 
tion. That of Schnurrcr, from the 
Arabic .Li a per turn, in omnium con spectu 

posit um esse, seems preferable to any other. 
The nakedness of a sword for a naked sword. 

!li::"3 , Arab. Izuuc , viii. JoXJuOl , and 

fagjfl , edttxit e vagina yladinm. Not 
only was the sword made bright, and 
thus ready for use, but, further, it was 
drawn, and just about to be used. Nebu 
chadnezzar had gone forth from Babylon, 
and was on the point of invading Judca. 
By a bold apostrophe, the sword in its 
threefold character, is summoned to 
unite its powers "^^".^ > ant ^ advance 
to the onslaught. The Chaldean army, 
in one collected body, was to proceed 
onward to Judea, taking whatever route 
came first, whether the southern or the 
northern. It was not to turn in any 
other direction than that in which it was 
appointed to move, rmjfE , the Fern, 
plur. participle in Pual of 13 , to fix, set, 

22. By a strong anthropopathy Jeho 
vah declares he will do what he had com 
manded the prophet to do, vcr. 19. Cp 
f,3~^X , hand to hand, is expressive of the 
act of clasping the hands together as an 
indication of violent grief. By causing 
the divine fury to rest, is meant, not the 
forbearing to pour it out in judgment, 
but the full and permanent infliction 
of it. 

In whatever obscurity this remarkable 
prophecy may be involved, the glittering 
sword flashes vividly through the whole. 



[CHAP. XXI. 24-26. 

23 cause my fury to rest, I Jehovah have spoken it. And the word 

24 of Jehovah came unto me, saying : And thou, son of man, ap 
point thee two ways, for the sword of the king of Babylon to 
come ; from one land they shall both go forth ; and cut a hand at 

25 the head of the way, cut a city. Thou slialt appoint a way for 
the sword to come : Kabbah of the sons of Ammon, and Judah in 

26 Jerusalem, the fortified city. For the king of Babylon shall 
stand at the mother of the way, at the head of the two ways, 
to practise divination ; he shall shake arrows, he shall consult 

24. The " one land " whence the two 
ways proceeded was that of Babylon, and 
the ways ran in a westerly direction ; the 
more, northerly by Rihlah in Syria ; and 
the more southerly by Tadmor, or Pal 
myra, in the desert. The former was that 
usually taken from Babylon to Jerusa 
lem ; the latter from the same city to 
Rabbah on the oast of the Jordan. The 
prophet is directed to cut out a hnnd 
("^) or a sign, pointing to the direction 
in which the Chaldean army was to pro 
ceed. This he was to place "^""^ ^2 , 
at the head or commencement of the irai/ 
where the two roads separated, each 
taking its own course ; while we are 
necessarily to understand its being made 
to point toward that which the king of 
Babylon was to select, as we are taught 
in vcr. 20. N^3 and N^S signify to cut, 
or fashion by cutting into any shape or 
form whatever, f*? tuc cognate verb, 
also signifies to cut, and then, as a sec 
ondary signification, to choose, silct. 
This last idea our authorized translators 
have adopted. That the hand is not 
supposed to have been formed by sculp 
ture, would appear from the circumstance 
that, in case it had been so, the verb "" " 7 
or PH would have been employed. It 
may have been made of wood, just like 
our finger-posts, with the representation 
of a city cut in it. The word TI-- ? city, 
is purposely indefinite, the Article being 
left to be supplied by the consciences of 
those whom the prophet addressed. 

25. It may at first sight appear in 
appropriate, that Kabbah, the metropolis 
of the country of the Ammonites, should 

be mentioned before Jerusalem, the guilty 
city against which the prophet was spec 
ially commissioned to denounce the 
divine judgments; but, considering to 
what an extent the Jews had adopted 
the idols of the Ammonites, there was 
a singular propriety in first taking up 
the heathen city, to intimate that as the 
Jews had participated in its crimes so 
they might expect to share in its punish 
ment. p a ?"\?? r? 1 ? , RuUiuh of the chil- 
dnn of Ammon, so called to distinguish 
it from a city of the name of !"!2~ in the 
tribe of Judah. It was built on the 
banks of the river ]\ fold- Amman, which 
empties itself into the Jabbok. Sec more 
respecting this city, on chap. xxv. 1-7. 
Instead of simply expressing the name 
of Jerusalem, the other metropolis, that 
of the inhabitants is prefixed, to mark 
them as the guilty objects of the divine 
indignation. The reason why Jerusalem 
is here said to be I H iJlSl , dtjlnc<d would 
seem to be, to intimate the vain confi 
dence which the Jews reposed in their 

2G. Nebuchadnezzar is supposed to 
have marched his army to a certain point 
to the west of Babylon, where the road 
branched off into the two referred to, 
vcr. 24. ""^ CX , the mother of the way, 
so called, not as is generally supposed, 
because there the road divided, for that 
is immediately afterwards described, as 
C^l" "^ ^"> > the hc-ml of the two 
ways, but because it was the principal 

road. Comp. the Arab, f 

via magna rcyia. Here the monarch is 

CHAP. XXI. 26-28.] 



27 his family-gods, he shall inspect the liver. In his right hand 
shall be the divination of Jerusalem, to place the battering rams, 
to open the mouth with the war-cry, to raise the voice with 
shouting, to place battering-rams at the gates, to throw up walls, 

28 to erect a watch-tower. Yet it is to them as a vain divination 
in their sight ; they are under the most solemn oaths, but he 
will cause the perfidy to be remembered, that they may be taken. 

represented as having been at a loss to 
determine which of the routes he should 
take ; and, in order to decide, as having 
recourse to divination. Of this as prac 
tised by the ancients there were ditVerent 
kinds, some of which are here mentioned. 
B^Sna bp^?p , he shook the arrows, i.e. 
the helmet, quiver, or whatever else they 
were put into. ^ pj?p , the Pilpd of Vi , 

to be light, sicijl. Arab. JjiJLs , Eth. 

fl 7 i \ i A commovit, f.oncusslt. It 
is most probable that he caused the name 
JERUSALEM to be inscribed on one 
arrow, and KABBAH on another, and mix 
ing them with others, determined to 
march against the city whose name was 
first drawn out. This mode of divining 
by arrows was practised by the Arabs till 
the time of Mohammed, who strictly pro 
hibited it in the Koran, Sur. iii. 39 ; v. 4, 
94. The art, as practised by the Geeks, 
was known by the name of &e\o/j.a.i>Ttia. 
Another species of divination to which 
the king of Babylon had recourse, was 
that of looking into the liver or the 
entrails of a newly-killed sacrifice, and 
judging that any undertaking would be 
prosperous or otherwise according as they 
were found in a healthy or unhealthy 
state. This art was called by the Greeks 
Ifpoa-Koiria, Hieroscopy, and is mentioned 
by Diodorus (chap. ii. 29) as practised 
among the Chaldeans. Not satisfied 
with the use of these two species of divi 
nation Nebuchadnezzar consulted the 
D n E~n , Tcniphim, which appear to have 
been pcnatcs or family gods, from whom 
it was thought possible to obtain informa 
tion relative to future events. See Gen. 
xxxi. 19, 34; Judges xvii. 5; xviii. 14. 

27. The arrow with JERUSALEM upon 
it was, on being drawn, held by the king 
in his right hand, and exhibited to ani 
mate his army to prosecute its march 
against that city. Now follows the 
adoption of the measures requisite for 
besieging the city. HS"! and Mrvin are 
parallel with each other. Connected as 
the former term here is with the opening 
of the month, it cannot well be taken in 
its usual signification of murder, but 
must be understood, as Gcscnius explains, 
as au outbreak of the voice : both terms 
thus energetically expressing the horible 
war-shout of the Chaldean soldiers when 
commencing the attack. For C n ^3 and 
P."?;! see on chap iv. 2. 

28. Clpp. . The Vau is marked by the 
Masoretcsas "nr" 1 , redundant. The pro 
phet now represents the light in which 
the Jews were disposed to view the 
imlicationsof the advanceof the Chaldean 
army. Though prone themselves to be 
lieve in divination, they aflfect to despise 
it when it tells against them. That 
the Jews and not the Babylonians are 
intended, the connection convincingly 
shows. To the Jews, moreover, the 
second Ctlb , to them, may be understood 
to refer, as the Jews had come under 
solemn engagements to be subject to the 
Babylonians, but those engagements they 
had violated ; arid for this, as well as 
their other sins, they were now to be 
punished. rOSS J ^52^ , oat Its of oaths, 
meaning the most solemn oaths. The 
construction proposed by Ewald, "weeks 
upon weeks," is less suitable. There is 
nothing corresponding to the words, 
either in the version of the LXX. or the 
Syr. The oaths were those the Jews 



[CiiAP. XXI. 28-32. 

29 Wherefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Because ye arc put in 
remembrance of your iniquity, in your rebellions being revealed, 
in the manifestation of your sins in all your doings ; because ye 
are put in remembrance, with the hand ye shall be taken. 

30 And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, at 

31 the time of the iniquity of the end : Thus saith the Lord 
Jehovah : Remove the tiara, and take away the crown ; this 
shall not be this ; exalt him that is low, and lay low him that is 

32 hi di. Subversion, subversion, subversion, I will make it ; this 


also shall not be, till he come whose is the right, and I will give 

had taken to the king of Babylon. X s !l, towards Nebuchadnezzar, by which he 

he, refers to Nebuchadne/./.ar, to whom brought destruction upon the Jewish 

the Jews had proved iaithless, and who state. Conip. vcr.34 ami chap. xxxv. 5. 
now should recall to their mind the 31,32. Since r^IITS is frequently used 

crime of perjury, of which they had in the Pentateuch of the t urban or tiara of 

been "uiltv. the l ^ 1 priest, it has been supposed by 

29. The Jews are now directly ad- some, after the Targum: KriE:^ i~rit 
dressed by the prophet, who expressly r-72 VjriO N2T s:n= N^T? 
teaches them, that the judgment to be NS5^ tt p iSTS , that the same appliea- 
inflictcd upon them was to be regarded, tion of the term is intended in the present 
not merely as a punishment of their case, and that the design of the prophecy 
infidelity to the king of Babylon, but of is to show that from this time forth both 
all the sins which they had committed, the sacerdotal and regal offices were to 
in connection with idolatry, against their cease till the advent of Messiah, in whose 
covenant God. Their acts of disobc- mediatorial undertaking they should be 
dienee were so notorious, and they had restored and united. As, however, it is 
become so universally depraved in their the king, and not the high priest, that is 
conduct, that no course was left but for here expressly addressed and as Cj JX , 
punishment to be inflicted upon them. a derivative from same root with rEIIiO , 

30. The prophet now pointedly singles is used of the head-dress both of the one 
out Zedekiah. Though Havcrnick and dignitary and the other, Isa. Ixii. 3; 
Fairbairn contend for" pierced through" Zech. iii. 5, the. latter term may without 
as the signification of >?n here, as at ver. violence be regarded as applicable to the 
19, I rather agree with the rendering of royal diadem of Zedekiah. Winer, 
our common version, profane, which is Gcscnius, and Lcc concur in this view 
supported by the LXX.,Vulg., and Syr., of the passage. The use of the two 
and approved by Winer, Gcscnius, and terms, to express nearly the same thing, 
Lee. That -SH signifies not merely to forms no objection, since it was no doubt 
pierce through, slay with the sword, but the object of the prophet most cmphati- 
also to make common, or profane, to j>l- cally to foretell the fact of the complete 
lute, diji/c, is so fully admitted as to cessation of the royal rule in Judah. The 
require no proof. That monarch, by his words rX7~JO TNT , this not tltits, or with 
wickedness, had desecrated his character the substantive verb "~ ! *>~ I F] > understood, 
as the Lord s anointed, and the period of this shall not be this, however enigmatically 
his punishment had now arrived. His it may sound, is very expressive. Taking 
reign and wickedness were to terminate the Feminine as a Neuter, the meaning 
together. By } r ? "p? the iniquity of the is: The present state of things shall 
end, is meant the treachery of Zedekiah cease. A complete revolution in Jewish 

CHAP. XXI. 31-33.] 



33 it him. And thou, son of man, prophesy and say : Thus saith 
the Lord Jehovah concerning the Ammonites and concerning 
their reproach, thou shalt even say : A sword ! a naked sword ! 
it is polished for slaughter, to consume because of the glittering. 

affairs was at hand. That the last 
clause of the verse is not to be taken as 
the enunciation of a general truth, fre 
quently taught elsewhere in Scripture, 
that God depresses the proud but exalts 
the lowly, but that it is to be understood 
specifically of the Messiah and of Zcdc- 
kiah, appears from the direct reference to 
the former in the following verse. The 
two are here placed in the strongest 
contrast : the root out of the dry ground, 
Isa. liii. 2, whom the prophet sees in the 
future, and the haughty monarch imme 
diately present to his view upon the 
royal Jewish throne. The commands 
given in this verse arc a strong mode of 
declaring prophetically that the things 
should be done. 

M? i"M2 rn:. , subversion, subversion, 
subversion. The threefold repetition is 
intensive. Ilcngstcnbcrg ingeniously 
supposes that this word was purposely 
chosen with reference to "pS , verses 28 
and 29. Indeed the LXX. and Vulgate 
have manifestly mistaken the words for 
each other, rendering aSixiav, d5i/ciW, 
aSiniav : iniquitatcm, iniquitatcm, iniquita- 
tem. The <"l in !~!i^ n ~X I would refer to 
r"3^Ta , the kingdom or royal dignity, 
understood from the connection. The 
like reference lies in TXt, this, in the 
phrase "Pf? tib rXT Da , yea, this shall 
not be : the kingdom should cease till the 
time specified immediately after. The 
words TTirpI BSOaPfib ION N3"12 , 
until the coming of him whose is the right, 
and I will give it him, point so obviously 
to the Messiah, that it cannot but appear 
strange that ever they should have been 
applied to any other person. Some of 
the Rabbins and Schnurrer interpret 
them of Nebuchadnezzar, who was to 
exercise EB ? upon the Jews. Grotius, 
as usual, applies it to his favorite Zerub- 
babel. By Abarbanel and Abendana, 

however, the passage is without scruple 
applied to the Messiah, as it is expressly 
by Ewald. To him belonged UQ ^JSH , 
by which is meant, not "iJ^ iSZn , the 
righteousness which otherwise is repre 
sented as inherent in the promised 
deliverer, and which was to form the 
distinguishing feature of the dispensation 
that he was to introduce, but the just claim 
which he had to occupy the throne of his 
father David. That BBO is used to 
signify right in the sense of claim or pre 
rogative, sec Deut. xviii. 3 ; 1 Sam. viii. 

9, II ; x. 25; Jer. xxxii. 7. 

Between this passage and Gen. xlix. 

10, is a remarkable coincidence, so much 
so that some have supposed that our 
prophet had the latter in his eye when 
he delivered it. It has been maintained 
indeed that 1P"lwX is merely expressing 
in full the abbreviated form "&O ; but 
not to insist upon the fact, that the read 
ing of many MSS. is n b^O , ShiloJt, as 
in the Masorctic text, and not F&IIJ , it 
cannot be shown that this abbreviation 
of the relative pronoun, which certainly 
occurs in the writings of Solomon, was 
in use in the time of Moses. In the 
only passage to which an appeal in favor 
of such usage lias been made, Gen. vi. 3, 
CS i 3 , the rendering now most approved 
is, because of their wandering, or trans 
gression, from 55 w j to err, go astray. The 
strict parallelism between Gen. xlix. 
10, and Ezck. xxi. 32, consists in what 
is common to both passages the per 
petuation of the regal authority of the 
tribe of Judah, in the person and reign 
of the promised Messiah. 

33. Lest it should be supposed that 
because Nebuchadnezzar had taken the 
route to Jerusalem, and not that to 
Kabbah, therefore the Ammonites should 
escape being invaded by his army, the 
prophet is instructed to denounce judg- 



[CHAP. XXI. 33-37. 

34 They have seen falsehood for thee, they have divined for thee a 
lie, to deliver thee to the necks of the slain wicked, whose day 

35 is come, at the time of the iniquity of the end. Shall it be made 
to return into its sheath ? in the place where thou wast created, 

36 in the land of thy nativity, I will judge thee. And I will pour 
out my indignation upon thee, I will blow upon thee with the 
fire of my wrath, and deliver thee into the hand of brutish men, 

37 skilled in destroying. Thou slialt be to the (ire for consump 
tion : thy blood shall be in the midst of the land, thou shall nol 
be remembered, for I Jehovah have spoken it. 

mem against them also. -"}" ,g$icord. 
is repeated S ln 3"in , as at ver. 14, and 
the same participial form PI 13 HE is 

. T 

employed as there. " rV > which some 
improperly refer to P13 , signifying to be 
nUe, is Dimply the infinitive in Iliphil of 
^2N , i<> ill ruin-, the N quiescing in 
Kamets. See Gescnius s Lehrgebnude, 
p. 333. p^2 I "?:" is to be connected 
with i^^ l"? in sense. The PI3"~ ) 
nproach, with which the Ammonites are 
here charged, was their opprobrious and 
insulting treatment of the Hebrews at 
different periods of their history, and 
especially when Jerusalem was taken by 
the Chaldeans. See on chap. xxv. 3, G ; 
Amos i. 13-15. 

34. mn and CC|? arc historical Infini 
tives. The Ammonites also had those 
who practised divination, and flattered 
them with assurances of safety ; but 
Ezckiel declares that they should prove 
fallacious. The feminine affixes in T\% 
and Tj^ X refer to "| "X j the country of the 
Ammonites, which is to be understood 
of its inhabitants. They were to be 
added to the number of the slain Jews 
whose wickedness had finally, in the 

providence of God, brought the Chaldean 
army from Babylon. Both were to share 
the same fate. Schnurrcr remarks that 
the phrase : fVsn n jNVJ , the lucks of 
the slain, is used poetically for the slain 
themselves, whose headless trunks are 
represented as stretched on the ground. 
3537. These verses are by some 
referred to the Chaldeans, but I am 
rather inclined to regard them as a con 
tinuation of the threatening against the 
Ammonites. They were not lo be carried 
away captives, like the Jews to Babylon, 
but were to j.eri>h in their own land. 
While the Jews were to be restored after 
the captivity had cured them of idolatry, 
the Ammonitish kingdom was to cease 
for ever. The prophecy was fulfilled five 
years after the destruction of Jerusalem. 
C"1"2 , l/nttiiih, not in the sense of stupid, 
unintelligent, but ferocious. LXX. ftap- 
fidpwv. The question, Whether God 
should cause the hostile operations of 
the Chaldeans to cease when they had 
destroyed the Jewish polity, is to be 
answered in the negative ; as it in effect 
is in the following denouncement of 
judgment upon the children of Amnion. 

CHAP. XXII. 2-6.] E Z E K I E L . 


The prophet, having in the preceding chapter exhausted what has not improperly been 
called the prophecy of the sword, resumes the subject of the enormous guilt of the 
Jewish nation, on which he had historically expatiated in chapter twentieth. He 
begins by reciting the enormous crimes of which the inhabitants of Jerusalem were 
guilty, 1-12. He then, in an episode, predicts the punishment which was about to be 
inflicted upon them, partly in plain terms, and partly in imagery borrowed from 
metallurgy, 13-22. The third section of the chapter comprises a review of their moral 
corruption, as pervading the difl erent orders of society, and bringing down upon the 
nation the righteous indignation of Jehovah, 23-31. 

1 MOREOVER the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying : And thou, 

2 son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? 

3 cause her then to know all her abominations. And say : Thus 
saith the Lord Jehovah : The city sheddeth blood in the midst 
of her that her time may come, and maketh idols within her to 

4 defile her. Through thy blood which thou hast shed, thou art 
guilty, and through thine idols which thou hast made, thou art 
polluted ; therefore thou causest thy days to approach, and art 
come to thy years : therefore have I rendered thee a reproach to 

5 the nations, and a scorn to all lands. Those that are near, and 
those that are distant from thee, shall mock thee, thou polluted 

6 of name, and very tumultuous ! Behold, the princes of Israel, 
each according to his power, were in thee that they might shed 

2, 3. Compare chap. xx. 4. On ac- and the latter of the captivity in Baby- 
count of the murders committed in Ion. For fifOP) we should have expected 
Jerusalem, and the offering of children ""JOSF! in the feminine to agree with ^S , 
in sacrifice to Moloch, she might well be but regarding 1 C5 , people, as understood, 
denominated D ^ nSl "P? , t/te city of the discrepancy in point of gender is 
bloods, or t/ie bloody city, comp. vers. 3, 4, removed. 

6, 9; xxiv. 6, 9. In this respect she 5. Ct ; n "X^a , lit. the polluted of name, 

rivalled Nineveh, Nah. iii. 1> and might not inaptly rendered in our common 

justly anticipate the same doom. ? in version, infamous. LXX. aKtiOapTos fj 

KISS is, as Roscmullcr observes, Lamed bvonao-r-f). Formerly Jerusalem had been 

eventuate, pointing out the result of the renowned as t ; ~pn 1 n 2 , ihe holy city. 

sins of the people, in the catastrophe Now it had been defiled by every kind of 

which they brought upon them. Instead crime, ric^nfirt F.2T1 ,f/reat of confusion, 

of deriving any advantage from their tumultuous, from the seditions and vio- 

idolatrics, they were only involved there- lencc which ohtained among the inhab- 

by in ruin. itants. To all, both far and near, the 

4. For "IS two MSS. read F? which Jewish metropolis was to be an object 

is expressed in all the ancient versions, of derision. 

The Jewish commentators distinguish 6. Instead of reigning according to 

between the "days" and the "years" law and justice, the princes of Judah, 

here mentioned, interpreting the former acted in the most despotic manner, 

of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem, crushing by the strong arm of power all 

100 E Z E K I E L . [CHAP. XXII. 7-1 G. 

7 blood. They treated lightly father and mother in thee ; they 
oppressed the stranger in the mid.^t of tliee ; they maltreated 

8 the orphan and the widow in thee. Thou hast despised my 

9 sanctuaries, and thou hast profaned my sabbaths ; Tale-bearers 
were in thee in order to shed blood ; they ate on the mountains 
in thee ; they have committed atrocious wickedness in thee : 

10 A fathers nakedness was uncovered in thee ; her that was 

11 removed for the menses they humbled in thee. And one 
committed abomination with his neighbor s wife, and another 
hath atrociously defiled his own daughter-in-law ; and another 

12 in thee hath humbled his sister, his father s daughter. They 
took a bribe in thee in order to shed blood. Thou tookest usury 
and increase, and hast done violence to thy neighbor by oppres 
sion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord Jehovah. 

13 Therefore, behold, 1 have smitten my hand at thine unjust gain 

which thou hast acquired, and at thy blood which Lath been in 

14 the midst of thee. Shall thy heart endure, or thy hands be 
strong, in the days when I shall deal with thee? I Jehovah 

15 have spoken, and will do it. Yea. 1 will disperse thee among 
the nations, and scatter thee among the countries, and consume 

1C thine impurity out of thee. And thou shall be polluted in thy 
self in the sight of the nations, and thou shalt know that I am 
17 Jehovah. And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying: 

who were the objects of their personal "projcctissimaadlibidinem gens, aliena- 

displeasure. ?"" [ iiirm, metaphorically ruin concubitii abstinent, inter sc nihil 

power, strength. illieituin." (Ilist. lib. v. cap. 5). The 

7-12. An ( numeration of sins ex- crowning sin with which the Jews arc 

pressly forbidden in the law of Moses, charged, and that which is strictly spcak- 

which were rampant in Jerusalem, ing the source of all sin, is forgctfulncss 

v w?X , -" 1 r? nt - """ f traffic, vcr. 9, of God, ver. 12. It is only as (iod is 

those who went about for purposes of kept out of view as the omnipresent, 

trade, pedlars ; and, as such generally omniscient, holy, and righteous Gov- 

propagatcd reports, the phrase came to crnor of the world that sin can be in- 

beused in the sense of idlc-lx-an-rs. Those dulled in. 

here referred to appear to have been what 13. "Smiting with the hand "was a 

in the present day we call iuj urin/rs. gesture expressive of displeasure and 

rxr-J , rn:n , vt . r . 10; the rendering grief. 

of the common version, set apart for ]>ol- 14. However .sinners may brave the 

lution, suggests the idea of a female divine threatcnings, their courage and 

devoted to prostitution, whereas all that imaginary strength must fail when God 

the Hebrew expresses is one that is un- executeth his judgments upon them, 

clean by reason of the menstrual clis- lf>, 16. The object to be attained by 

charge. The character of the Jews, as the dispersion of the Jews was their 

here described, is aptly given by Tacitus: recovery from idolatry and from the 

CHAP. XXII. 17-25.] 



18 Son of man, the house of Israel are become dross to me ; all 
of them are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of 

19 the furnace; they are dross of silver. Therefore thus saith the 
Lord Jehovah : Because ye are all become dross, therefore, 

20 behold, I will collect you into the midst of Jerusalem. As men 
collect silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, in the midst 
of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it to melt it, so will I col 
lect you in mine anger and in my fury, and will leave you, and 

21 melt you; I will even gather you, and blow upon you in the 

22 fire of mine indignation, and melt you in the midst thereof. As 
the melting of silver in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be 
melted in the midst thereof, and ye shall know that I Jehovah 

23 have poured out my fury upon you. And the word of Jehovah 

24 came unto me, saying: Son of man, say to her, Thou art a 
land not cleared, nor rained upon in the day of indignation. 

2o There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst of her, as 
a roaring lion tearing the prey ; they devour souls, they take 
away treasure and precious things ; her widows they multiplied 

polluting influences which followed in 
its train. 7(2 ^rlrl- The only trans 
lation of these words, which suits the 
connection, is that given in the margin 
of the common version : and than shall 
be profaned in thyself. The verb is the 
regular Niphal form of ^5n , to pierce, 
make, common, profane, pollute; and the 
meaning appears to be : thou shalt be 
inwardly conscious of thy polluted con 
dition, and shalt loathe thyself on account 
of thy sins. There, among the heathen, 
thou shalt learn to appreciate my charac 
ter as a God of holiness, righteousness, 
and truth. 

18-22. In imagery borrowed from the 
art of smelting metals, the inhabitants 
of Judea are represented as a mass of 
the baser metals intermixed with the 
impure residue of silver. They had 
altogether become a com pound of wicked 
ness, and were to be gathered together 
in Jerusalem, as into a furnace, and 
there smolten in the fire of the divine 
indignation. Compare Jcr. vi. 29, 30. 
rnQ , vcr. 20, is the infinitive of HEJ , 
to blow. 

23. The prophet, having given a re 
cital of the sins which prevailed in Judah, 
and described the punishment to be 
inflicted on account of them, is now 
charged to expose to view the wicked 
ness of those who held office in the 
land, but who, instead of setting a good 
example to the people, were ringleaders 
in sin. 

24. The early and latter rain having 
been withheld, the land had become un 
productive, and the fields not having 
been cleared or cultivated, all was a 
scene of wildncss and desolation a fit 
emblem of the moral state of the nation. 

25. For this and the two following 
verses, compare Zcph. iii. 3, 4. The 
false prophets are first singled out, on 
account of the greater influence which 
they exerted in seducing the people by 
their impious teachings. Not satisfied 
with each propagating error within his 
own sphere, they had formed a complot 
to oppose the messages of the sonants 
of the Lord. Thus forming a powerful 
body, they resembled a roaring lion, 
tearing in pieces his prey. Unconcerned 



[CHAP. XXII. 25-29. 

26 in the midst of her. Her priests did violence to my law, and 
profaned my sanctuaries ; they made no distinction between the 
holy and the unclean ; and they distinguished not the unclean 
from the pure, and hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I was 

27 polluted in their midst. Her princes in her midst were as 
wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying souls for the 

28 sake of unjust gain. And her prophets plaster them over with 
lime, seeing falsehood, and divining for them a lie, saying : 
Thus saith the Lord Jehovah ; and Jehovah hath not spoken. 

29 As for the people of the land, they exercise violence, and 
indulge in rapine : they maltreat the poor and the needy, and 

30 oppress the stranger with injustice. And I sought of them a 
man to build up the wall, and to stand in the breach before me 
on behalf of the laud, that I might not destroy it ; but none did 

about the welfare of the souls of whom 
they professedly had the cure, and intent 
only upon their own gain, they had occa 
sioned the death of those who perished 
in the war with the Chaldeans, and thus 
increased the nr.mber of widows. 

20. The priests, whose lips should 
have kept knowledge, Mai. ii. 7, ^C^n , 
did violence to the law by wresting its 
words from their natural signification 
and putting a i alse construction upon 
the doctrines taught in it. They like 
wise profaned the ordinances of the Lord s 
house by admitting persons indiscrim 
inately to participate in the observance 
of them, and made no distinction between 
the Sabbath and other days of the week, 
giving license to sinful indulgences on 
that sacred day. IIow deteriorating such 
conduct must have been in its influence 
upon the morality and piety of a nation, 
may easily be conceived. 

27. The C" 1 * ^ , princes, instead of cm- 
ploying the influence which their elevated 
position supplied, for promoting the 
welfare of the people, had nothing in 
view but the gratification of their own 
avarice, which they sought to obtain 
in the most unscrupulous manner, not 
sticking at murder and fraud. The 
wolf is an animal noted for its fierceness, 
cruelty, and rapacity. 

28. The false prophets, by flatly con 
tradicting the messages sent by Jehovah, 
and assuring the princes that the king 
of Babylon would not take Jerusalem, 
flattered their prejudices, and encouraged 
them in their resolution not to submit. 
Comp. chap. xiii. 10; Jer. xxiii. 1C, 17 ; 
xxvii. 9, 10. 

29. By ") ":* "7 ^" > t/f profile of the land, 
as placed here immediately after the 
classification of persons holding office, 
we are to understand the inhabitants 
generally, without distinction of rank or 
office. Corruption had spread down 
wards through the whole mass of the 
community (Jer. v. 1-4). The words are 
to be taken as the nominative absolute, 
and not, with some, as the accusative. 
*S , the stranyr-r, is rendered by the LXX. 
Trpocn /AuTOf. So far from encouraging, 
by their kindness and their holy example, 
those foreigners who sojourned among 
them to devote themselves in spirit and 
truth to the service of Jehovah, the Jews 
did everything that was calculated to 
alienate them from his worship. As all 
oppression is unjust, it may at first 
sight strike a reader as strange, that the 
prophet should add EQ-/S S&3 unjustly; 
but the phrase is used merely for the 
sake of enhancing the aggravation of 
the crime. 

CHAP. XXIII. 2-4.] 




I find. Therefore will I pour mine indignation upon them ; in 
the fire of my wrath I will consume them ; I will render their 
way upon their own head, saith the Lord Jehovah. 

30, 31 . This is strong language, to express the universality of the defection 
from Jehovah. 


Under the allegory of two sisters, the cities of Samaria and Jerusalem are presented to 
view for the purpose of reprobating the idolatries of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah; 
each being the metropolis of its respective kingdom. The same strong metaphorical 
language is employed as in chapter xvi., for the purpose of more powerfully exciting 
feelings of disgust at foreign alliances and the abominations of idolatry. 

1 AND the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying: Son of 

2 man, there were two women, daughters of one mother: 

3 And they committed lewdness in Egypt : they were lewd in 
their youth : there men pressed their breasts, and there they 

4 pressed the paps of their virginity. And their names were: 
Aholah, the elder, and Aholibah, her sister : and they were 
mine, and they begat sons and daughters ; and their names 

2. These two cities had a common 
mother the Hebrew people; regard 
being had to what they had become in 
the possession of that people. 

3. The object of the representation in 
this verse is not to teach that the two 
kingdoms existed as such in the time of 
the sojourn in Egypt, but to trace back 
the idolatry of those who afterwards 
composed them to that early period in 
the history of the Hebrews. Compare 

chap. xx. 6, 7, 8. T^ , Arab., here press, compress. The Egvp- 
tians are understood as the nominative 
to WBy the corresponding verb in the 
parallelism. tCJ? occurs in Picl only 
here and in verse 8, and is expressive of 
the acting of eager or intense desire. 
The last clause of the verse is rendered 
in the LXX. ^/r SieTrap6eftv8rjffav. 

4. The force of the distinctive use of 
the two names f^X Aholah, and 
^OHX , Aholibah, lies in the circum 
stance, that the former, signifying her or 

her own tent, intimates that the worship 
celebrated at Samaria was self-invented ; 
it had never received the sanction of 
Jehovah, but, on the contrary, had 
always been marked as an object of 
his abhorrence; whereas the latter sig 
nifying my tent is in her, is expressive 
of the appropriation of Jerusalem and 
the temple-worship by Jehovah, as hav 
ing his divine and gracious warrant. 
*k ~9^!~W? i and they were mine. Pre 
vious to the apostasy under Jeroboam, 
Samaria, equally with Jerusalem, wor 
shipped the true God. Their inhabitants 
were sons and daughters of the Lord 
Almighty. He never renounced his 
right to the Israelites as subjects of the 
theocracy, but sent prophets to declare 
his will to them and warn them against 
idolatry. The northern kingdom was 
the sphere of the special labors of Elijah 
and Elisha. Thus " Pnn , ver. 5, under 
me, i.e. when subject to me as their law 
ful husband. Samaria is said to be the 
elder, or the greater, " i ^1" 3i^, not in 


E Z E K I E L . 

[CiiAP. XXIII. 5-11. 


were, Samaria, Aholab ; and Jerusalem, Aholibah. And 
Aholah committed lewdness under me, and indulged in lust with 
her lovers, with the Assyrians, her neighbors. Clothed in pur 
ple, governers and captains, desirable young men, all of them, 
cavaliers riding on horses. And she bestowed her lewdness 
upon them, all of them the choicest sons of Assyria, and she 
was defiled with all with whom she indulged in lust and with 
all their idols. Neither did she abandon her lewdnesses from 
the Egyptians : for they lay with her in her youth ; they also 
pressed the paps of her virginity, and poured their lewdness upon 
her. Wherefore I delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into 
the hand of the Assyrians upon whom she doted. These 
uncovered her nakedness ; they took away her sons and her 
daughters, and slew her with the sword, and she became a name 

point of age, for Jerusalem had the G. The only difference of signification 
priority in this respect, hut with respcet between riHD and C ^p seems to be 
to dcfeetion from the pure worship of that the former denoted civil, and the 


latter military governors of provinces. 

5. From this verse to the tenth the See Jer. li. 57, where C^SO and ~~~2 

snhjeet treated of is Samaria, or the are closely connected ; LXX. r t yov^fvovs 

kingdom of the ten tribes. The adul- nal crrparriyovs. Their pontons, splen- 

terons connection of the Israelites with did apparel and youthful appearance 

the Assyrians is metaphorically (k 1 scrip- attracted the libidinous Israelites. 

tive of the alliance which Mcnahcm their 
kin^ formed with Pul the kini; of Assyria, 

7. From the reference to idols at the 
cn( l f tnls verse, it is manifest that the 

whose favor he purchased with a large alliances with the Assyrians were not 
sum of money (2 Kings xv. 19, 20). merely of a political nature. 
Not only, however, did this transaction 8. The Egyptian idolatries here re- 
involve a transfer of the confidence they ferred to were the worship of the idol- 
had placed in Jehovah as the king of calves, to which the Hebrews had been 
Israel, but opened the door for the addicted while resident in that country, 

and which Jeroboam established among 

the ten tribes. 

9. 10. The northern kingdom was 

entrance of idolatry. -5? is a verb of 

rare occurrence, being found only once 

in Jeremiah, and six times in K/ckiel, 

and the punctuation 2"H is altogether punished for its idolatry by being invaded 

unique; but its signification is well by Shalmancser, who took Samaria, and 

established by the passages in which it carried the Israelites captive into Assyria, 

is used as well as by that of the cognate Media, and the ^adjacent countries of 

A i -, _ 7 , the East. fCr s n-"<nrii , and she 
Arabic -.^A^V.C , miratus, admiratione 

became a name to women, she was rendered 

affectusfuit. The preposition *3> follow- as notorious by her punishment as she 

ing the verb, adds to the force of the had been by her crimes. She was made 

signification. The Assyrians might be an example to which an appeal could 

called C" 1 3""!J5 , neighbors of the Israelites, be made by other states, 

because their country bordered on that 11. The prophet now turns to Aholibah, 

of the latter, which at the time here or Jerusalem, as the metropolis and 

referred to extended as far eastward as representative of the southern kingdom, 

the Euphrates. Though her inhabitants witnessed the 

CHAP. XXIII. 11-16.] 



11 to women, and they executed judgments upon her. And her 
sister Aholibah saw it, and acted more corruptly in lust than 
she. and her lewdnesses were grosser than those of her sister. 

12 To the sons of Assyria she extended her lust, governors and 
captains, her neighbors, clothed in. perfection, cavaliers riding 

13 on horses, all of them desirable young men. And I saw that 

1 4 she was defiled ; there was one way to them both. And she 
added to her lewduesses, when she saw men portrayed upon 

15 the wall, images of Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion, Girded 
with girdles on their loins, and dyed tiaras upon their heads, all 
of them in appearance military commanders, like the sons of 

16 Ba bylon, whose native country was Chaldea. And she indulged 
in lust with them when she saw them, and sent messengers 

dcs traction of the kingdom of Israel, 
instead of taking warning from it, they 
not only persisted in idolatrous practices, 
but carried their indulgence in them to 
still greater lengths. 

12. The reference here, as Jarchi 
rightly interprets, is to the application 
made by Ahaz to Tiglath-pileser for 
his assistance against the Syrians and 
Israelites, recorded 2 Kings xvi. 7-9, 
which led to the idolatrous transaction 
at Damascus, and the introduction of 
the Syrian idolatry into Jerusalem, ibid. 

10-16; 2 Chron. xxviii. 16-25. ^^> 
" * 

PIPE S some consider to mean, clad in 

complete armor the latter term being 
considered as equivalent to iravoTr\ta. 
Regarding it, however, as designed to 
qualify the dress of the military leaders, 
it seems better to retain the idea of perfec 
tion, which it, as well as ^r?> expresses, 
and interpret it of the splendidness or 
gorgeous appearance of their apparc!. 
The costume of the Assyrian cavalry 
may be seen in the sculptures brought 
by Layard from Nineveh, which display 
all the magnificence of Oriental finery. 

13. " nx^fl, one way. Both alike 
renounced their confidence in their cov 
enant God, and adopted the idolatrous 
practices of the heathen. 

14-16. It has been questioned where 
the Jews could have seen the pictures 
here described. That they were in Jeru 

salem would appear from what is stated 
ver. 16, that when they saw them they 
sent to Chaldea for the originals. In 
all probability these images had been 
imported along with the objects of idol 
atrous worship, which were pictured on 
the inside of the walls of the temple. 
Sec chap. viii. 10. The language "I^np 
" "Ipr;" 1 ? portrayed upon the wall, is 
common to both passages. For "TCJC? , 
vermilion, see on Jcr. xxii. 14. Struck 
with the gallant appearance of these 
military leaders, the Jews could not rest 
satisfied without entering into an alli 
ance with the Chaldean power, then 
established at Babylon. On what oc 
casion the embassy here referred to took 
place, does not appear from the page of 
sacred history, but most probably it was 
when apprehensions were entertained of 
an attack on the part of Egypt. For 
the Chaldeans, sec on Isa. xxiii. 13. 
Though now possessors of Babylon, the 
land of their nativity lay between the 
Black and Caspian seas. O^ai? , dyed 
turbans. That these were of .a large 
size, appears from the use of CT1 ".p 
put in the construct " H Hp , from the 
root "I ^D > to be ample, redundant. He 
rodotus describes the Babylonians as 
having TOLS Ke<t>a\as /^irprjai avaSeovTat, 
i. 195. BW^, first-rate class of 
military men, so called because they 
occupied chariots by threes, one of whom 


E Z E K I E L . 

[CHAP. XXIII. 16-22. 

17 to them to Chaldea. And the sons of Babylon came to 
her into the bed of love, and defiled her with their lewdness, 
and she was defiled by them, and her soul was alienated from 

18 them. Then her lewdness was revealed, and her nakedness 
uncovered, and my soul became alienated from her, as rny 

19 soul had become alienated from her sister. Arid she multiplied 
her lewdnesses, recollecting the days of her youth, when she 

20 committed lewdness in Egypt. And she indulged in lust with 
her paramours, whose ilesh was as the flesh of asses, and their 

21 issue as the issue of horses. Thus didst thou call to remembrance 
the crime of thy youth, when they of Egypt pressed thy paps, for 

22 the sake of the breasts of thy youth. Therefore, O Aholibah, 
thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Ik-hold, I will raise up thy lovers 
against thee.from whom thv soul is alienated, and will bring them 

guided the horses, while the other two 
engaged in battle with the enemy. I 
do not know :i better phrase in our 
language by which to express the lie- 
brew than ; German Wtt /cn- 

17. Fond as the Jews were of this 
illegitimate allianec with the Chaldeans, 
they soon found that it cost them dear, 
and their love was exchanged for hatred, 
as is sooner or later th" case with all 
illicit love. Compare 2 Sam. xiii. 15. 
Jehoiakira proved unfaithful to his pledge, 
which incensed Nebuchadnezzar, and first 
brought the Chaldean army as enemies 
against Jerusalem. The cognate verbs 
5j?^ and "~3 employed in this and the 

following verse, Arab. .* > cccidlt, sese 

oltulil, signify to rend atray, turn from: 
here, to be alienated from another in 
affection, and implies the disgust which 
follows in consequence. LXX. a! aW- 
ffTTi ri tyvxb avTTjs O.TT avroiv. 

18-21. When the divine displeasure 
was manifested against Judah by the 
first invasion on the part of Nebuchad 
nezzar, instead of rejecting her false 
confidences, abandoning her idolatries, 
and returning to the worship and service 
of her covenant God, she indulged the 
gratification of her lustful propensities 
in the most open and shameless manner 

having recourse anew to the grossest 
idolatries of the Egyptians which she 
had cherished at the earliest period of 
her hi-torv. ""-^7? ra/liii ito remembrance, 
I would refer to Jerusalem, the subject 
of discourse, and not, with some, to 
Jehovah. The use of CTiiQ in the 
masculine is singular, oeeuring only in 
this place. The word has been supposed 
by some to have been of Greek derivation, 
from 7raA\a| ; but it is just as probable 
that the Greek was derived from the 
Hebrew, or some other of the Semitic 
dialects. The pronominal affix Cf^, 
tlteir, in crprslrS , refers to the Egyp 
tians. " IPEFI Jerusalem may be said 
to have i-lsitrd her early lewdness when 
she renewed her intercourse with the 
idols of Egypt, conciliating the political 
favor of the Egyptians by conforming 
to their religion. The 53 prefixed in 
C^SB^ , Maurer takes to be the "p? 
partitive ; but I agree with Ilaverriick, 
that it is to be regarded as marking the 
agents by whom the actions were per 
formed. >Tf* is here used in Kal in 
the same sense as it was in Piel, vcr. 
3 and 8. 

22, 23. Jehovah here threatens to ex 
cite against the Jews the Babylonians 
of whom they had formerly been enam 
ored, but who were now become the 
objects of their disgust. The instru- 

CHAP. XXIII. 23-27.] 



23 against thee round about. The, sons of Babylon and all the 
Chaldeans, Pekod, and Shoa, and Koa, all sons of Assyria, 
choice young men, governors and commanders, military officers. 

24 and celebrated riders on horses, all of them : They shall even 
come against thee, strong in chariots and wagons and a multi 
tude of peoples : buckler and shield and helmet they shall place 
against thee round about ; and I will set judgment before them, 

25 and they shall judge thee with their judgments. And I will set 
my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal with thee in fury ; 
they shall remove thy nose and thine ears, and thy remnant 
shall fall by the sword. They shall take away thy sons and 
thy daughters, and thy remnant shall be devoured with fire. 

26 And they shall strip thee of thy garments, and take away thy 

27 splendid jewels. And I will make thy wickedness to cease from 
thee, and thy lewdness from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt 
not lift up thine eyes to them, and thou shalt remember Egypt 

ments of their sin were now to be made 
the instruments of their chastisement. 
The force of the Babylonian empire was 
to be brought to bear tipon them in 
punishment of their sins. From the 
circumstance, that the words 5V3 1 ] "i"pQ 
5"ip1 , Pckod, and Shoa, and Koa, occur 
in immediate connection with the Baby 
lonians, the Chaldeans, and Assyrians, 
and further, that TipB , Pekod, is used 
by Jeremiah, chap. 1. 21, as a descriptive 
name of Babylon, it may be inferred that 
all three arc to be so interpreted in this 
place. No such geographical names as 
Shoa and Koa occur either in sacred or 
profane writers. The former, however, 
signifying wealth, or opulence, and the 
latter, princely, nolle, are aptly descriptive 
of the state of Babylon in the days of 
her prosperity, as " IpB , Pekod, is of 
her anticipated punishment. C"W"ip , 
called, celebrated, renowned as warriors, 
and therefore, as might be expected, 
well fitted to execute the task devolved 
upon them. 

24. 3 , with, is understood before the 

words bsba-i as-; -,sn. Of the first of 

these terms the signification strong is that 
best supported, and which best suits 
the connection. The 0"v5?? , wheels of 

oriental wagons being unusually high, 
and consequently very conspicuous, there 
was a propriety in introducing them here. 
Comp. chap. i. 16-20. Not only should 
the most select military men, armed with 
all the necessary implements of war, 
come against Jerusalem, but a multitude 
of people should accompany them to 
render them all the assistance they 
might require. When it is said that 
the Chaldeans were to judge the Jews, 
CfPES w53 , with their judgments, it is im 
plied that from such a barbarous people 
they had nothing to expect but the most 
severe punishments, as it follows in the 
next verse. 

25, 26. Punishment by cutting off the 
nose and ears was inflicted for adultery, 
not only among the Chaldeans, but also 
among the Egyptians, Greeks, and Ro 
mans. It was therefore most appro 
priate, to represent that which adulterous 
Judah was to suffer under the image of 
such ignominious and cruel treatment. 
They were also to be stripped of what 
lewd females set most value upon their 
rich dresses and costly jewels, by which 
they attract the notice of their paramours 
(chap. xvi. 39). 

27. Theeffcct of the punishment which 

130 EZEKIEL. [CHAP. XXIII. 27-36. 

28 no more. For thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Behold, I will 
deliver thee unto the hand of those whom thou hatest, unto the 

29 hand of those from whom thy soul is alienated. And they deal 
with thee hatefully, and take away thy earnings, and leave thee 
naked and bare, so that the shame of thy lewdnesses and 

30 wickedness and whoredoms may appear. I will do these 
things unto thee, because thou hast gone a whoring after the 
nations, because thou hast defiled thyself with their abominations. 

31 Thou walkedst in the way of thy sister, and 1 have given her 

32 cup into thine hand. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Thou shall 
drink of the cup of thy sister, deep and large ; thou shalt be an 

33 object of scorn and derision ; it coritaineth much. Thou shalt 
be full of drunkenness and sorrow : a cup of desolation and 

34 astonishment is the cup of thy sister Samaria. And thou shalt 
drink it, and suck it to the dregs, and craunch the shreds of it, 
and cut off thy breasts ; for I have spoken it, saith the Lord 

35 Jehovah. Wherefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Because 
thou hast forgotten me and didst cast me behind thy back, there 
fore thou also shalt bear thy wickedness and thine adulteries. 

36 And Jehovah spake unto me, Son of man, wilt thou judge 
Aholah and Aholibah ? show them, then, their abominations. 

37 For they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands ; 
yea, they have committed adultery with their .idols, and have 
even caused their children which they bore unto me to pass 

the Chaldeans would inflict should be had been, only more severely in pro- 

the entire cessation of idolatry among portion to the greater guilt she had 

the covenant people. They should no contracted. Verse 34 expresses most 

more think of applying to the king of forcibly the desperation to which the 

Egypt for help, and they should renounce Jews should be reduced, when compelled 

all connection with idols. to undergo the. extreme infliction of their 

28. See verses 17, 18. punishment. By a bold hyperbole, not 

30. i~> Cy is the historical Infinitive, satisfied with having sucked out the last 

standing for the future. drop that was in the cup, they are rcp- 

31-35. By a change of metaphor the resented as craunching the very shreds 

judgments to be inflicted upon Judah of it with their teeth, and tearing their 

arc represented as the contents of a cup breasts, which they had prostituted in 

which she was to drink. This metaphor 

. ., adultery. C 5, Arab. i*y^ k ? resecuit, 

is of frequent occurrence both in the I / 

Old and New Testaments. See cspc- abstulit, snstulit, denotes to break off, cut 

cially Ps. Ixxv. 8 ; Jcr. xxv. 15 ; Rev. or rjnnw as a bone with the teeth (Num. 

xiv. 10 ; xvi. 19 ; xviii. G. The force of xxiv. 8). The 1 in C5 1 ! , vcr. 35, is used 

the metaphor lies in the idea that the infcrcntially for the purpose of assigning 

ingredients were nauseous and delete- the cause of the punishment described, 
rious. Judah was to be treated as Israel 36. From this verse to the 44th wo 


38 through the fire for food to them. Further, this they did to me ; 
they polluted my sanctuary on that day, and desecrated my 

39 sabbaths. And when they slaughtered their children to their 
idols, then they came on the same day into my sanctuary to 
profane it : and behold, they did this in the midst of my house. 

40 Yea, they sent to men who came from far, to whom a messenger 
had been sent ; and behold they came ; for them thou didst 
bathe thyself, powder thine eyelids, and deck thyself with orna- 

41 ments. And thou didst sit on a magnificent bed, before which 
a table was prepared, and upon it thou didst place my incense 

42 and my oil. And there was the noise of a careless multitude in 
her, and to men of the common sort drunkards were brought 
from the desert, and they put bracelets on their hands and a 

43 splendid crown upon their heads. Then I said respecting the 

44 old adultress, Will they now commit lewdnesses with her, and 
she with them? They went in unto her, as they go in unto a 
whorish woman : thus they went in unto Aholah, and to Aholi- 

45 bah, the profligate women. And righteous men shall judge them 
with the judgment of adultresses, and the judgment of those who 
shed blood ; for they are adultresses, and blood is in their hands. 

have a brief anacephalosis, or summing She left nothing untried by which this 

up of the wickedness of the two sisters, might be effected. 

special prominence being given to that 41. In aggravation of her guilt she is 

of Jerusalem. charged with impiously devoting to their 

37. Here first C|X5 , the verb signifying gratification the offerings which belonged 
to commit adultery, occurs in the chap- to Jehovah. 

ter. 42. Instead of receiving the warnings 

38, 39. So callous and daring were given them by the prophets, and hum- 
the Jews in their idolatry, that on the bling themselves on account of their 
very day on which they had burned their idolatries, the inhabitants of Jerusalem 
children to Moloch in the valley of indulged in rioting and drunkenness 
Gehenna, they hypocritically presented bringing even the vulgar Arabs from the 
themselves as worshippers in the temple desert to keep them company. C >1 X2 iO , 
of Jehovah. Comp. Jer. vii. 9, 10. drunkards, and not O^XSD which the 

40. Comp. ver. 16. R5P3 , a oiral Xey. Keri exhibits, would seem to be the 

i S ., preferable reading, since the Sabasans 

Arab. (LSO , illevitcollyno, we. stibio -^ , , 

., , 

illevitcollyno, we. stibio -^ , , 

* tf in Ethiopia do not appear ever to have 

oculos suos. Frcytag ; to spread fine been confederate with the Jews. To 

paint of a black color on the eyelids mark these drunkards with disgrace, the 

so as to produce a black margin, and feminine pronominal affixes areemploycd 

thus make the white of the eye look in irTT, and jrndx n. That bracelets 

more beautiful and seducing. It is a were worn by males as well as females, 

custom still practised by Oriental females, see the authorities in Rosenmtiller. 
See Kitto, Art. EYE. Jerusalem is rep- 43, 44. Disgusting as was her char- 

resented as so doing to entice her lovers, acter as an old adultress, Jerusalem 



[Cnxp. XXIV. 1-2. 

46 For thus saith the Lord Jehovah : I will bring up a company 

47 against them, and deliver them to oppression and spoil. And a 
multitude shall stone them with stones, and cut them with their 
swords ; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, aud burn 

48 up their houses with fire. And I will cause profligacy to cease 
from the laud, and all wives shall receive instruction and shall 

49 not do according to your profligacy. And they shall lay your 
profligacy upon you, and the sins of your idols ye shall bear, and 
ye shall know that I am the Lord Jehovah. 

found those who encouraged her in her 
wickedness. The two sisters are again 
presented tog-ether to view, though Aho- 
libah is specially singled out, being the 
more guilty of the two. 

45. The Chaldeans are here called 
C^pi 1 ?:: trails:, righteous men, not be 
cause they were so in comparison of the 
apostate subjects of the theocracy, but 
because in punishing them they were 
the executioners of the righteous judg 
ments of God. 

4G-49. The Chaldeans should effect 
a complete termination of idolatry in 
the land of Judea, by the capture and 
destruction of Jerusalem. Though the 
use of stones in battle was customary, 
yet there may, in vcr. 47, be a special 
reference to the fact, that stoning was a 
punishment inflicted for adultery among 
the Jews, John viii. 5. 1*10*3, ver. 48, 
is construed by Gcscnius as a rare in 
stance of a Rithpael Conjugation. 


Ezekiel is chapped to announce to his countrymen on the Chebar, that the investment of 
Jerusalem had actually commenced, 1, 2. To illustrate this fact, lie was to propound 
the allegory of a caldron which he was to set on the fire, and, having put water into it, 
to boil in it choice pieces of meat, 3-5. Then follows the application of the allegory to 
Jerusalem, showing the awful and irrevocable character of her doom, G-14. The prophet 
is next apprised of the sudden death of his wife, for whom he is commanded not to 
exhibit any signs of mourning, 15-18: it being intimated thereby that such should be 
the deplorable circumstances of the Jews in Jerusalem, when deprived of the objects 
most dear to them. In this respect he was a prophetic sign to them, 19-27. 

1 AGAIN, in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth of 

2 the month, the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying : Son of 
man, write thee the name of the day, this very day ; the king 

1. The date, as usual, is taken from 
the commencement of Jehoiaehin s cap 

2. The prophet is specially charged 
to write down the particular day on 
which he delivered his message, and to 
announce it as that on which Nebuchad 
nezzar had commenced his attack on 

Jerusalem. As he, was at the time at 
the distance of more than three hundred 
miles from that city, it was not to be 
supposed that the intelligence could have 
reached him by any human means. 
When, therefore, the captives afterwards 
received the information, they had, on 
comparing the dates, an infallible proof 

CHAP. XXIV. 2-12.] 




of Babylon lays seige against Jerusalem this very day. And 
propound a parable to the rebellious house, and say unto them : 
Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Put on the caldron ; put it on, 
and put also water into it : Gather the pieces thereof into it, 
every good piece, the thigh and the shoulder ; fill it with the best 
bones. Take the choice of the flock, and lay also the pile of 
bones under it, make it boil well ; let them also boil the bones 
thereof in the midst of it. Wherefore thus saith the Lord 
Jehovah : Woe to the bloody city, the caldron in which is the 
rust thereof, and from which its rust hath not removed ; bring it 
out piece by piece ; let no lot be cast upon it. For her blood is 
in the midst of her ; she laid it on the sunny rock ; she did not 
pour it out upon the ground, to cover it with dust ; That it 
might cause fury to come up, to take vengeance, I have laid her 
blood on a sunny rock, that it may not be covered. Wherefore 
thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Woe to the bloody city : I will 
enlarge the pile : Heap on the wood, kindle the fire, make ready 

of the divine inspiration of the prophet. 
For ^"%2 read 3~? "H"?*? > ^ can or 
lie cir/ainst anything, to bear hard upon, it, 
to invest a city with an army ; Syr. 


y Vo tv? j, discubuit, accubuit. 

3-5. The prophet was typically to 
perform the actions here commanded. 
They were prophetical transactions, the 
import of which is presently explained. 
7~n~? , Us pieces, do not mean pieces of 
the caldron, as if it had been broken, 
but of the meat that was to be put into 
it to be boiled. " The choice of the 
flock " mean persons most distinguished 
for rank, office, or wealth in the Jewish 
state. "VH, and f^" 1 "? ver - 9, signify 
the round pile of fuel, from "lit , to be 
round. The bones that had been stripped 
of their flesh were to be used for fuel : 
those to which it still adhered were to 
be thrown into the pot, that it might be 

6. Here the prophet gives the ex 
planation of the parable. The Jews, 
indeed, could be at little loss to know 
what was intended by it. They had 
already themselves bandied the metaphor 
about as a taunt, boasting that they 

should dwell securely in Jerusalem (chap. 
xi. 3). By "ixbn is not meant scum 
such as that which gathers on the surface 
of the contents of a pot, but the rust or 
verdigris contracted by copper. LXX. 
16s. The moral impurity of the city 
is intended. Why there should be a 
Mappik in the pronominal affix the 
second time the word is used, and not 
the first, does not appear. As usual, 
the Masorctes only tell us that the M is 
raphc. The pieces were to be brought 
out and put into the caldron without 
discrimination. No lot was to be cast 
upon them for the purpose of sparing 
some and not others, as was sometimes 
the case when persons were sentenced 
to be punished. 

7. The bloody deeds committed in 
Jerusalem were so flagrant, that no 
pains were taken to conceal them. 

8. In just retribution Jehovah declares 
that he would expose them with equal 
publicity, that the blood might call for 
vengeance. fiTlX signifies here sunny, 
the brightest part of a bare rock exposed 
to the rays of the sun. 

9-12. The most effectual measures 
were to be taken for the destruction of 

134 EZEKIEL. [CuAP. XXIV. 12-17. 

11 the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned. And 
set it empty upon the coals thereof, that it may be hot, and its 
copper may glow, that its lilthiness may be smelted in the midst 

12 of it, and its rust consumed. Its rust is wearinesses ; and its 

13 much rust goes not off from it ; into the fire its rust ! Thine 
impurity was atrocious : because I would have purified thee, but 
thou wouldst not be purified, thou shall no more be purified from 

14 thy filthiness till I have caused my fury to rest on thee. I 
Jehovah have spoken ; it cometh, and I will do it ; I will not 
desist, neither have pity, nor take compassion : according to 
thy ways and thy doings shall they judge thee , saith the Lord 

15 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, sayiiig : Son of man, 
1C behold, I will take away from thee the delight of thine eyes 

with a stroke, but thou shalt not lament, nor weep, neither shall 

17 thy tears run down. Grieve in silence: make no mourning for 
the dead ; bind thy turban about thee, and put thy sandals on 
thy feet ; thou shalt not cover the lip, nor eat the bread of 

18 men. And I spake to the people in the morning; and my wife 
died in the evening, and I did in the morning as I had been 

Jerusalem. The destruction was to be 15-17. With a view to affect more 
complete. After the inhabitants had deeply the minds of his fellow-captives, 
been destroyed, the city itself was to be Kzekiel has announced to him the dis- 
burned to the ground. See for the severance of the tcndcrcst of all earthly 
fulfilment, Jcr. lii. 13; Lam. iv. 11. tics the removal of her on whom ho 
l""*rr! "r^ 71 i the. mat is wearinesses, i.e. had ever been accustomed to look with 
it is so ingrained, that much labor is affection and delight. This removal of 
required in removing 1 it, and all bestowed his beloved wife was to be effected by 
in vain. The process was no longer to !" 1 SJ"2 , a stroke, i.e. in so sudden and 
be carried on, but justice was to effect striking a manner as to show, that it 
its purpose at once. was an immediate visitation of God. 
13,14. The impurity of the inhabi- Distressing, however, as this event would 
tants of Jerusalem was of the most be, the prophet is commanded to exhibit 
atrocious character. i~lST , crime, delibe- no tokens of grief on the occasion. 
rate wickedness, is a term employed to Instead of C"~>: ^3X , the construction 
denote a criminal act perpetrated on set is iCN CT"2 , giving special prominence 
purpose. Root C~T , to think, devise, to " the dead " which is expressed in 
purpose, mostly used in a bad sense, the plural with ultimate reference to 
Jehovah had used a variety of means, those who should perish during the siege 
both physical and moral, to restore them of Jerusalem, though IT O , his own dead, 
to purity, but they had produced no was the immediate subject of discourse, 
effect. It remained now only for the He was interdicted the use of such signs 
Chaldeans to do their work. The tie- of mourning as were usually manifested. 
crec was irrevocable, and the execution Though the High Priest was inter- 
inevitable, dieted mourning for any person what- 

CIIAP. XXIV. 17-23.] 

E Z E K I E L . 


19 commanded. And the people said unto me : Wilt thou not tell 

20 us what these things which thou doest are to us ? And I said 

21 unto them: The word of Jehovah came unto me, saying: Say 
unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Behold, 
I will desecrate my sanctuary, the pride of your strength, the 
delight of your eyes, the desire of your soul ; and your sons and 

22 your daughters shall fall by the sword. And ye shall do as I 
have done ; ye shall not cover the lip, neither shall ye eat the 

23 bread of men ; But your turbans shall be on your heads, and 
your sandals on your feet ; ye shall not lament nor weep, but ye 
shall pine away in your iniquities, and mourn, a man to his 

ever, Lev. xxi. 10, the ordinary priests 
were permitted to mourn for near rela 
tives, ibid. vcrs. 2, 3. Ezckiel, therefore, 
though of priestly descent, would have 
been under no restriction in this respect. 
Ilewas, however, on the prescntoccasion, 
though of the most trying nature, to 
appear as usual, not laying aside his 
turban and, instead of it, casting ashes 
on his head, nor going barefooted, nor 
covering the upper lip together with its 
moustachio (CDb) , comp. Lev. xiii. 45. 
Neither was he to partake of the food 
which it was customary for friends to 
bring in token of their sympathy with 
the mourners. This in the original is 
called D^ IJiX CH5 , bread of men, i.e. 
what men usually furnish on such oc 
casions. Havcrnick aptly compares for 
the idiom, tJ isx ^"!D} man s pen, Isa. 
viii. l.and (j-irpov avOpuiirov, Rev. xxi. 17, 
apifyubs avOpca-rrov, Rev. xiii. 18. The 
etymology of C^ i SX is not to be pressed, 
nor the word rendered, with Newcome, 
wretched men. 

18. The event soon followed the com 
munication to the people of the sorrowful 
event which had been pre-announced to 
the prophet. 

19. The people perceived evidently 
that the strange conduct of Ezekiel 
under the circumstances of the case was 
symbolical, and asked to be informed, 
what bearing the symbol had upon their 

21. The prophet is instructed to point 

them to the sacred temple at Jerusalem, 
as the antitype of his wife. It had been 
the proud object of their confidence (Jer. 
vii. 10), and which they had regarded 
with feelings of delightful admiration. 
For the phrase Q?J? "\ ^ comp. Lev. 
xxvi. 19. In ipn ? an( l ^T? is a 
paronomasia. They had profaned that 
temple with their idolatrous worship, 
and Jehovah would now profane it by 
means of the Chaldeans, who would 
pillage and burn it to the ground. As 
Ilitzig observes, many parents might, 
when they were carried away from 
Jerusalem, have been under the necessity 
of leaving their children of tender age 
behind them. These the Chaldeans 
should mercilessly put to the sword. 

23. It is predicted at the close of this 
verse, that while, like the prophet, the 
Jews should not mourn on account of 
the loss of their temple or their dearly 
beloved relatives, they should be brought 
to bewail their personal guilt, which 
had been the procuring cause of it. 
E^P=-? is expressive of inward melting 
of spirit, the effect of vexation and grief 
when the mind cannot sustain its in 
firmities, but gives way to the pressure 
of calamity, and in the hopelessness of 
despair, gives up all for lost. The words 
Vnx-bx ^ ; iX enrro arc strongly ex 
pressive of the sense of national guilt 
which the Jewish captives should feel 
they had contracted, and the share which 
they individually had in it. Though 


E Z E K I E L . 

[CHAP. XXIV. 23-27. 

24 brother. And Ezekiel shall be to you for a sign ; according to 
all that he does, ye shall do : and when it comes to pass, ye shall 

25 know that I am the Lord Jehovah. And thou, son of man, 
shall it not be in the day when I take from them their fortress, 
the joy of their glory, the delight of their eyes, the desire of 

26 their soul, their sons and their daughters ? In that day shall he 

27 who has escaped come to thee to communicate the report. In 
that day shall thy mouth be opened to him that has escaped ; 
and thou shalt speak, and no longer be dumb ; and thou shalt be 
to them for a sign, and they shall know that I am Jehovah. 

prevented, by the circnmstanees in which 
they were placed in the land of their con 
querors, from making any public mani 
festation of their sorrow, they would 
privately (ITIX ^ ^"^ one to another) 
give expression to their feelings of grief. 
Fairbairn justly reprobates the opinion 
of Eichhorn, Ewald, and Hitx.ig, that 
a state of feeling the very reverse of 
this is intended by the language of the 

24. It is not an unexampled thing 
for the sacred writers to introduce their 
own names into their productions. Sec 
Exod. ii. 11 ; Numb. xii. 3 ; Isa. xx. 3 ; 
Dan. viii. 27. Ezekiel was r1~ , a si;/n 
or significant typical representation, fore 
shadowing what was to take place in the 
experience of his countrymen, nx 12 , 
in its coming to jxtss ; when the thing 
signified should happen, it would be 

an indubitable proof that Jehovah had 
revealed the event beforehand to his 

25-27. C**3 , in the daij, as occurring 
in verses 25 and 26, refers to that in 
which the temple was destroyed and the 
fugitive had made his escape : in ver. 27 
it refers to that on which he arrived at 
the Chebar with the melancholy news. 
From the occurrence of the former event 
until the latter should take place, the 
prophet ceased from his public labors, 
meanwhile leaving his predictions to 
produce their natural efi ect ; but then he 
was again to stand forth, and pointedly 
to appeal to the issue in proof of his 
divine commission. We mav easily 
conceive of the impression which such 
an appeal was calculated to make on 
the minds of the Jews. Compare chap, 
xxxiii. 21, 22. 

CHAP. XXV. 3-5.] 




Chapters xxv. -xxxii. inclusive, contain prophecies relating to foreign nations. 

The prophet in this chapter (irst directs his denunciatory discourse against the Ammonites, 
1,2; whose destruction he had anticipated, chap xxi. 26 and 82. They were specially 
to be punished on account of their malicious exultation at the destruction of Jerusalem 
and the captivity of the Jews, 3-7. lie then proceeds to denounce similar punishment 
against the Moabites, 8-11, the Edomites, 12-14, and the Philistines, 15-17. These proph 
ecies were, for the most part, fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar live years after the destruction 
of Jerusalem. See Joseph. Antiqq. lib. x. cap. 9. 7. 

1 AND the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying: Son of man, 

2 set thy face towards the sons of Ammori, and prophesy against 

3 them. And thou slialt say to the sons of Ammon : Hear ye the 
word of the Lord Jehovah : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : 
Because thou sayest, Aha ! to my sanctuary, for it is desecrated, 
and to the land of Israel, for it is desolate, and to the house of 

4 Judah, for it is gone into captivity ; Therefore, behold, I will 
deliver thee to the sons of the east for a possession ; and they 
shall erect their villages in thee, and fix in thee their dwellings ; 

5 they shall eat thy fruit and they shall drink thy milk. And I 
will make Rabbah a habitation of camels, and the children of 
Ammon a resting-place for sheep, and ye shall know that I am 

3. "pS" "\?2 , the Ammonites were the 
descendants of Lot, and occupied the 
territory to the east of the Jordan, 
hcyond that pertaining to the tribes of 
Reuben and Gad. It was bounded on 
the south by the land of Moab, from 
which it was separated by the river 
Arnon ; and on the north by the river 
Jabbok, which separated it from the 
country of the Amorites. They formed 
one of the most powerful of the minor 
neighboring states, and were frequently 
at war with the Hebrews. They were 
gross idolaters, and had for their national 
god Moloch or Milcom. On the fall of 
Jerusalem, to which as auxiliaries they 
contributed, and the transportation of 
the inhabitants of Judea to Babylon, 
they insolently triumphed over them, on 
which account the present threatening 
is denounced against them. The Femi 
nine suffix in Tj"} r5* refers to the country. 

4. Solomon Jarchi, Grotius, and others 


suppose that by C~J? IS , so?>s of the east, 
here, the Chaldeans are meant ; but this 
is contradicted by the uniform usage 
of the sacred writers, who employ this 
phrase restrictively to designate the in 
habitants of Arabia Deserta, to the east 
of the territories immediately bordering 
on the Jordan and the Dead Sea. On 
the destruction of the Jewish state by 
Nebuchadnezzar, the country was to 
be taken possession of by the nomadic 
tribes, who should there form their en 
campments and dwell in their tents, 
leading the same pastoral life to which 
they had been accustomed. ni"PtS, vil 
lages, or nomadic encamjiwcnts surrounded 
by mud-walls, as is common in the East. 
The word nowhere signifies palacfcs. 
The nomades had no palaces. 

5. i"l2^ , Rabbah, literally the. great, 
was the metropolis of the Ammonites, 
elsewhere called "pH? f"2n, AViWxzA of 
Ammon, and, in full, "p S? ""SB PS 1 }, 


E Z E K I E L . 

[CHAP. XXV. 5-9. 

G Jehovah. For thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Because thou didst 
smite with the hand, and stamp with the foot and rejoice with 

7 all the despite of thy soul against the land of Israel, Therefore, 
behold I will stretch out my hand against thee, and give thee 
for a spoil to the nations, and I will cut thee off from the peoples 
and destroy thee from the lands ; I will destroy thee, and thou 
sluilt know that I am Jehovah. 

8 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Because Moab and Seir say, 

9 Behold, the house of Judah are like all the heathen ! There 
fore, behold, I will open the side of Moab from the cities, from 
his cities, from the extremity thereof, the glory of the land, 

Rabbah of thc sons of Ammon, to distin 
guish it from i" 1 ^ , a city of that name 
in the tribe of Judah. When afterwards 
restored by Ptolemy Philadelphia, it 
received the name of Philadelphia, and 
formed one of the cities of thc Decapolis. 
By a slight corruption of the second 

syllable it is called L .jLx| , Amman, at 

thc present day, as it was in that of 
Abulteda. Tab. Syr. p. 91. Its ruins 
have been visited by the modern travel 
lers,, Burekhardt, and Irby and 
Mangles, who found them about nine 
teen English miles S.E. by E. from thc 
town of S/.alt, and situated along the 
banks of a stream called Moiet Amman, 
which flows into the Xerka or Jabbok, 
called according to Seetzen, Xalihr 
AiiHiian. They exhibit remains of a 
palace, a mausoleum, an amphitheatre, 
a temple, a church, and a castle; but 
not a single inhabited dwelling is to 
be seen. Sec Sect/en in Xaeh s Mo- 
natli che Correspondent, xviii. pp. 428, 

7. This desolate state of Rabbah must 
be referred to the three hundred years 
which intervened bet ween the destruction 
of Jerusalem and the time of Ptolemy 
Philadelphia, after which it became cel 
ebrated among the Greeks and Romans, 
by whom, no doubt, thc splendid build 
ings, the ruins of which still remain, 
were erected. 32 occurs nowhere be 
sides in Hebrew, except in the compound 
32rQ , where it seems to be used in the 

wnsc of thc p crs 


vectiyal. Such significations, however, 
ill suit the present connection ; and 
there cannot, I should think, be a doubt 
that thc reading is a corruption of t3 , 
n/ioll, which is that of the Keri, of a 
great number of MSS. in the text, and 
is supported by that of the Complut. 
Bible and all the ancient versions. The 
letters T and 3 might easily be exchanged 
for one another by a copvist. Compare 
"! for i~l.1 , chap, xlvii. ]. !. 

8. Proceeding in a southerly direction, 
a similar threaten in L; is dcnou need against 
Muali and tieir. These countries are 
here classed together, most probably on 
account of their close proximity to and 
their joint hostility against the Jews. 

9. " " ^"5 > SV// - , was properly a moun 
tainous country, called by Josephns 
and others who wrote in Greek Ta/^aAu, 
r/3aAen ), To /BaAa, and at the present 
day the Arabs still give it the name of 
(JLx2>- , J<bal. See Dr. Kobinson s 
Palestine, vol. ii. p. 552. The opening 
up of this mountainous region from the 
cities of Moab expresses thc clearing of 
the passes by which the enemy might 
easily enter and take possession. These 
were otherwise closed and fortified. 
Thc names of the cities specified are in 
apposition with "j 7 "]^ " I 2S , the. ylory of 
tlic country, so that this is to be taken as 
descriptive of them, and not of ft^i; i the 
frontier or extremity of Moab. They 

CHAP. XXV. 10-14.] 



10 Beth-yeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim. I will give her 
for a possession to the sons of the east, against the sons of 
Ammon, that the sons of Ammon may not be remembered among 

11 the nations. And I will execute judgments in Moab, and they 
shall know that I am Jehovah. 

12 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Because Edom acted revengefully 

towards the house of Juclah, and contracted guilt by avenging 

13 himself upon them, Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, I 
will also stretch forth my hand against Edom, and cut off 
from it man and beast, and will make it desolate from Teman, 

14 and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword. And I will inflict 
my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and 
they shall execute upon Edom according to mine anger, and 
according to my fury, and they shall know my vengeance, saith 
the Lord Jehovah. 

15 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Because the Philistines have acted 

revengefully, and have revenged themselves with despite of soul 

are most probably so called because 
of their having been strongly fortified. 
From the significance of the name ri^S 
rHE^ ilJ^rj , Bcth-hayeshimotli, the house of 
desolations, the first would appear to 
have sustained a siege at some previous 
period of its history, but from the effects 
of which it had afterwards recovered. 
It was situated on the eastern shore of 
the Dead Sea. "p~? ^?3 , Baul-Meon, 
in full "psa Vsa r^a , Beth-Baal-Mion 
(Josh. xiii. 17), and simply "p"? *~ " 1 ?> 
Bcth-Mcon (Jcr. xlviii. 23), lay farther 
inland, to the east of Mount Nebo, and 
appears from the name to have been 
celebrated on account of the worship of 
Baal. D^!V ""ip , Kiriathaim, the double 
city, is supposed by Burckhardt to be 

the present *ju5 J! , El-Tcyim, half- 

an-hour s journey to the southwest of 
Medeba. It was most probably on ac 
count of the strength of these cities that 
Moab cherished the pride so emphatically 
ascribed to her (Isa. xvi. 6 ; Jer. xlviii. 
29 ; Zeph. ii. 8-10). 

12-14. Though Seir, which strictly is 
the northern part of Idumca, is coupled 
with Moab, ver. 8, yet considering the 

enmity which the Edomitcs had uni 
formly manifested against the Hebrews, 
it was proper that they should specially 
share in the judgments to be executed 
upon the foes of the covenant people. 
The country of Dl " 1 ^ > Edom, properly 
so called, stretches from the southeast 
corner of the Dead Sea to Elath or 
Akabah on the Elanitic Gulf of the 
Kcd Sea. The two cities or districts, 
"j^n , Teman, and "j^ 1 } , Dedan, being 
placed in antithesis, embrace the whole 
length of the country from north to 
south. They are placed in the same 
order (Jcr. xlix. 7, 8). The former is 
placed by Jerome in his Onomasticon 
at the distance of five miles from Pctra, 
but where the latter lay is uncertain. 
It is scarcely to be supposed that the 
trading city of this name in the bosom of 
the Persian Gulf can be meant. What 
ever the Idumcans may have suffered 
from the passage of Chaldean troops 
through the country, it was reserved 
for the Jews themselves to execute the 
divine vengeance upon them. This was 
specially done at an after period l>y 
Judas Maccabeus, and they wiv finally 
conquered and incorporated with the 


16 to destroy in the old enmity, Therefore thus saith the Lord 
Jehovah : Behold, I will stretch forth my hand against the 
Philistines, and cut off the Crethites, and I will destroy the 

17 remnant on the sea-coast. And I will execute upon them great 
avengings in punishments of fury ; and they shall know that I 
am Jehovah, when I inflict my vengeance upon them. 

Jewish state by John Ilyrcanus. Sec crcncc to C5 2 rC^X , tltc ancient hatred. 

on Isa. xxxiv. 5. Mark the paronomasia in Ti"!"] and 

15-17. Having taken its course through E n r~3. The Philistines were called 

the countries to the east and south of Cherethim, or Cretans (LXX. TUVS Kpf/- 

thc Dead Sea, the threatening now TOS), because they came originally from 

crosses over along the south of Judca the island of Crete, elsewhere called 

to the country of the Philistines, situated "WES, Caphtor. The army of Nebu- 

along the coast of the Mediterranean, chadnezzar overran and destroyed the 

The inhabitants of this region, being cities on the sea-coast on his way to 

the near neighbors of the Jews, had been Egypt, after the siege of Tyre. See on 

their indomitable enemies from the time Jer. xlvii. 
they entered Canaan. Hence the ref- 


This and the two following chapters are directed against the Phoenicians," whose country 
lay next in order along the coast, to the north of 1 hilistia. It consisted of a small slip 
of country, not exceeding twelve miles in width, but extending about one hundred in 
length from north to south, between Mount Lebanon and the sea. Its inhabitants 
were the celebrated merchants anil able navigators of antiquity, and resided in numer 
ous cities with which the country was studded, the chief of which were Tyre and Sidon ; 
and against these especially the prophecies before us a/e pronounced. 

In the present chapter Tyre is introduced exulting at the downfall of Jerusalem, and con 
gratulating herself on the accession to her commerce which she anticipated would re 
sult from that event, 1, 2. Hereupon, Jehovah declares in general terms that he Would 
effect her destruction, and that of the lesser cities dependent upon her, 3-G. Tlun 
follows a more special prediction, descriptive of Nebuchadnezzar as the instrument 
divinely appointed to fulfil the purpose of the Most High; the formidable military array 
which that monarch should employ in the attack ; his total annihilation < f that cele 
brated city, and the capture of all her commercial treasures. 7-14. The effect produced 
by the intelligence of her fall on the merchant-princes of the islands and coasts of the 
Mediterranean is next most graphically set forth, and a funereal dirge is introduced 
which, in the posture and attire of mourners, they are supposed to chant, 15-18; and 
the prophecy winds up with a declaration on the part of Jehovah, that the desolate 
condition to which Tyre should be reduced would be complete and perpetual, 19-21. 

1 AND it came to pass in the eleventh year, on the first of the month 

2 that the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying : Son of man, 
Because Tyre saitli concerning Jerusalem, Aha ! the gates of 
the people are broken, it is turned unto ine, I shall be filled, she 

1. Contrary to his usual practice, the month. Some interpreters suppose it 
prophet omits to specify the date of the was the fourth, others the fifth, etc., 

CHAP. XXVI. 2.] 



is laid waste. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Behold, 
I am against thee, O Tyre ! and I will cause many nations to 
come up against thee, as the sea causeth its waves to come up. 

but nothing beyond conjecture has been 
advanced, nor is it a matter of much 

2. 1"3 , a form differing little from 
113 , which signifies a Rock ; on Phoeni 
cian monuments 13 without the Van, 
as also on Tyrian coins 133 , OS 13b 
n:i3 ; Arab. \yO , Greek Tupos. This 

city was the most opulent and powerful 
emporium in the ancient world, carrying 
on her commerce not only in fleets down 
the Mediterranean as far as the western 
coasts of Spain and Britain and round 
into the Baltic, mooring them in every 
accessible port ; but likewise in large 
caravans into Central and Eastern Asia. 
She was of high antiquity. According 
to Justin (Urbcm ante annum Troianae 
cladis condidemnt) it must have been 
founded B.C. 1155. Yet it was originally 
only a colony of Zidon, which boasted 
a still higher antiquity. See on chap, 
xxviii. 21. 

Properly speaking there was a double 
Tyre that proper, on the continent, 
called Pala;tyrus, 7; iroAoi Tvpos, supposed 
to have been liX 13S73 1^5 , the fortress- 
city of Tyre, mentioned Josh. xix. 29 ; 
2 Sam. xxiv. 7 ; and the insular Tyre, 
built upon a rock in the sea, at the 
distance, according to Pliny, of seven 
hundred paces from the shore, which 
in all probability served as an outport 
or station for warehouses wherein were 
deposited the principal articles of Phoe 
nician traffic. According to Strabo, old 
Tyre lay thirty stadia south of the insular 
city, near the present ..j^uu! ipm; 

Ras-elain, or fountain-head, which sup 
plied the aqueducts with water. MCTO 
5* T^jf Tvpov rj IlaAaiTiipoy 4v rptd.Koi>Ta 
ffraSiots. Lib. xvi. cap. 2. It was ob 
viously this city that the army of Neb 
uchadnezzar first attacked, for it is said, 
ver. 11, that with the hoofs of his horses 

he should tread down all her streets. It 
has been maintained indeed by some 
that the two parts of the city were con 
nected by an artificial isthmus ; but such 
an idea, suggested no doubt by the fact 
that Alexander afterwards constructed 
a passage from the one to the other, 
would ill accord with what we may 
conceive to have been the sagacity of 
the Tyrian merchants, who, for the 
security of their goods, would leave the 
island approachable only by water. See 
this subject ably discussed byVitringaon 
Isa. xxiii. and Prideaux s Connections. 
The siege lasted thirteen years, and, 
though we have no positive testimony 
from profane authors to prove that it 
was successful, yet there remains no 
ground for reasonable doubt on the sub 
ject. When it is said, chap. xxix. 18, 
that the king of Babylon and his army 
had no wages for the service they had 
performed, the meaning is, they had no 
adequate remuneration for the hardships 
and losses which they had sustained, 
and the immense expense to which he 
had been put on the occasion. That no 
mention is made by the profane authors 
of Greece and Kome of the successful 
result of the siege is rather an argument 
in its favor than the contrary ; for we 
can hardly suppose it possible for them 
not to have adverted to so remarkable a 
circumstance as that the mighty king 
of Babylon should have been baffled in 
his attempt, if such had actually been 
the fact. Nor must it be forgotten that 
Jerome expressly declares that he had 
read in Assyrian histories of the success 
ful conquest of the city by Nebuchad 
nezzar. See Havernick s Commentary, 
pp. 427^142, in which the objections 
of Gesenius, Von Heeren, Duhlmann, 
Hitzig, and other modern writers arc- sat 
isfactorily refuted, and compare Hengs- 
tenbcrg, De Rebus Tyriorum, p. 31 and 



[CHAP. XXVI. 2-5. 

And they shall destroy the walls of Tyre, and raze her towers, 
and I will sweep away her dust from her, and I will make her 
a dry rock. She shall be a place for spreading nets in the midst 
of the sea : surely I have spoken it, saith the Lord Jehovah ; 
and she shall become a spoil for the nations. And her daugh 
ters which arc in the field shall be slain with the sword ; and 

Mediterranean dashed against her shores 
with resistless fury, so should the troops 
of the king of Babylon, collected from 
the many different nations subject to his 
sway, attack and destroy her strongholds. 
P prefixed to T*S is the sign of the 
accusative, according to Aramaic usage, 
as irrvr-pb, (.K.,-. x l. o). That Tyre 
was strongly fortified is borne out by 
the testimony of Dins, as quoted by 
Josephus, Antiqq. viii. 5, who says that 
Hiram king of Tyre eireiov; iupa. TO. TIJIV 
\tpo<j j\\>fj.<joi> Tei ^rj, itvpyuv Trpus aaipd- 
\ttai Sfo/.ifva Kal T?IS ii\\ris oxvpSTTjTOS, 
irpbs yap rb a^ tupa T/JS TroAeojj r l ye tTO 
Se iv Kal TOVS irtpi/36\ous elvai, ravrd re 
TrpocrtTr((TKevae Kal irvpyois a jTa, /j.fyd\ois 
irpoff(<l?tpfis. Comp. Isa. xxiii. 4, 11, 13. 
Ilitxig indeed contends that the language 
of Dius only applies to Jerusalem, but 
it appears obvious to me that the passage 
concludes with a statement of what 
Hiram did to his own city in imitation 
of what he had witnessed at, the, capital 
of Judea. ^TV-- ! ""1 ""^"P form a 
paronomasia. n~E" , /<(> ilnal. The 
destruction here referred to was that of 
the towers, walls, and other edifices, 
destroyed by the besiegers. Not a ves 
tige was to remain. In place of splendid 
edifices and impregnable bulwarks noth 
ing was to be seen but bare rocks, fit only 
for fishermen to spread their nets on. 

5. C^fl ~"^3 , in the midst of the sea, 
may, without straining, be applied to 
Continental Tyre, though the greater 
part of the city lay not within the sea 
mark, but back in the plain in the 

direction of the rocky hill, , A..J I -, 

El-Maslmk, which probably formed its 
" v -*2 r i castle or fortress. See Robinson, 
iii. 300. 

following, nxn , hnich, alia ! an inter 
jection strongly expressive of exultation 
over a fallen enemy. See Ps. xxxv. 21, 
25. As an exception to the general 
grammatical rule, and an instance of 
constrm-tio ad sftisum, !"H2 ,1"3 the predi 
cate in the singular agrees with ~"ir~il 
the subject in the plural. "~ ! ^J should 
be pointed ffp? ^ 1C nominative to 
this verb is not Jerusalem, understood, 
as our translators have taken it, but 
what is most easily supplied by the con 
nection, and that on which the minds 
of the Tynans were mo>t set, their 
merchandize, or mercantile gain. The 
rendering, therefore, should be " it," and 
not site, " is turned unto me." r"ir"n 
C"T3"in , the doors or (jutes of the, pcopl* s. 
Jerusalem was so called not only on 
account of her having been the great 
place of concourse to the Hebrews when 
they went up to the sacred feasts, but 
because it lay in the routes which the 
caravans with merchandize took that 
proceeded to Tyre from Petra, Kzion- 
gcbcr, Palmyra, and other places in the 
East, and consequently must have inter 
cepted many of the articles of traffic 
before they reached their destination. 
On this account she must have been an 
object of great jealousy to the Tyrians, 
who now exult at the removal of this 
monopoly, and congratulate themselves 
on the commercial advantages which 
they would derive from her fall. 

3, 4. In striking contrast with the 
self-congratulatory language of Tyre, 
Jehovah here announces her destruction. 
The comparison of crowds of people 
to the tumultuous waves of the sea is 
common in Scripture. It is peculiarly 
appropriate here, in consideration of 
the maritime position of Tyre. As the 

CHAP. XXVI. 6-9.1 



they shall know that I am Jehovah. For thus saith the Lord 
Jehovah : Behold, I will bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar 
the king of Babylon, from the north, a king of kings, with 
horses and chariot, and with horsemen, and an assembly of much 
people. Thy daughters in the field he shall slay with the sword ; 
and he shall construct a circumvallation around thee, and pour 
out a mound against thee, and raise the buckler against thee. 
The stroke of his battering-ram he will direct against thy walls ; 
and thy towers he will cut down with his hatchets. The multi 
tude of his horses shall cover thee with their dust ; by the noise 
of horsemen, and wheels, and chariots, thy walls shall shake, 
when he entereth into thy gates, as into the entrances of a city 

and contained a considerable number 
of men. "^r bj thc ay.jtr or mound 
of earth raised before a besieged city. 
~2 ^ is appropriately used to express 
the formation of it from thc emptying 
or pouring out of the earth conveyed in 
baskets. HS2 , the bucUer, here obviously 
denotes the testudo, or vaulted roof of 
large united shields employed by an 
attacking enemy for protection in siege- 

9. By ^Dp Tra is meant the battering- 
ram, which was employed in making 
breaches in t!ie walls ; and which, in 
the absence of artillery, must have proved 
a very effective instrument of attack. 
Winer renders the words, peratssio oppo- 
sit font s, i.e. the hostile stroke or blow 
given by the instrument " T? s ^ c ~ 
rived from "">n^2 , to strike, or smite, 2^P 
from ^3^ i to be over against, opposite to. 

Compare thc Arab. JLc oJ in thc 


6. rnba -nrx iwteii And her 

daughters which iccre in tie open country, 
i.e. the towns and villages dependent 
upon her, and lying back from and along 
the coast. These were to be involved 
in the same catastrophe with the mother- 
city ; their fate was bound up in hers. 

7. "|1EStl , from the. North, the quarter 
from which the Chaldeans originally 
came from their native mountains, and 
that which is always specified when their 
entering Palestine is referred to, be 
cause they took the route by IJiblah and 
Ilamath on the Orontes in preference to 
that across the desert to the southwest of 
Babvlon. Xcbuchadnez/ar is dignified 
with the title E^b a ~^, KING OF 
KIXGS, Chaldean N;rr"5 "r. 7 -? > Arabic 

dLLo j because he had con 

quered many kingdoms, and had under 
him a number of royal personages gov 
erning, as satraps and viceroys, the 
different countries that were subject to 
his sway. Thus the Turks have their 
..WAJ3 jV*w ijl **-* w 5 Sultani sulatin ; 

the Persians their SLCiuLxJCLxi, Sha- 
hin-sluih, and the Ethiopians their 

of thc samc 

import. See for more, Gcscn. Thcsanr. 
p. 794. p?;f , the tower, which, as em 
ployed in a siege, was movcahle, and 
pushed forward against thc city. These 
were stored with instruments of attack, 

hostile sense of irrnit in aKquem, ayfjrcssus 
cst rein ; Chal. " 1 i"l U > 35 , tormcnta Mlica. 
Among other warlike instruments de 
scribed as employed in thc destruction 
of Tyre m ^n are specified. As swords, 
which is thc common acceptation of thc 
term, however, appropriate when a battle 
is spoken of, is unsuitable when applied- 
as here to thc cutting down of towers, 
it is now generally allowed that it is 
used with the signification of axes or 
hatchets. The assertion of Havernick, 


E Z E K I E L . 

[CHAP. XXVI. 9-14. 

broken in upon. With the hoofs of his horses he shall tread 
down all thy streets ; he shall slay thy people with the sword ; 
the monuments of thy strength shall come down to the ground. 
And they shall spoil thy riches, and plunder thy merchandise, 
and raze thy walls, and break down thy pleasure-houses, and 
shall place thy stones and thy wood and thy dust in the midst 
of the waters. And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease, 
and the sound of thy lyres shall no more be heard. And I will 
make thee a dry rock; thou shalt be a place for the spreading 
of nets ; thou shalt never be built any more : for I Jehovah 
have spoken, saith the Lord Jehovah. Thus saith the Lord 
Jehovah concerning Tyre : Shall not the islands shake at the 
sound of thy fall when the wounded groan, when* the slaughter 





that 3"]H never signifies anything else 
than sword, is indefensible ; for it also 
signifies a knife (Josh. v. 2, 3) ; a razor, 
(Ezek. v. 1); and is to be translated 
aecording a.s the exigency of the passage 
may require. 

10, 11, A graphic description of the 
tremendous character of the siege. The 
dust, raised by the horses, filling the air, 
the noise made by their prancing, the 
rattling of the chariots, the quaking of 
the walls, the shrieks of the wounded, 
the fall of the idolatrous objects of con 
fidence all must have combined to 
inspire the inhabitants with terror and 
dismay. "; [" r"~JZ*: , Y tilg. statiKc luce 
nobilcs, obelisks or statues, erected in 
honor of their idol-gods. Comp. n 12 SI S 
"C3OuJ~SV3 , the. obelisks of the temple, of the. 
sun, Jer. xliii. 13. When the idols of 
the heathen arc taken or destroyed in 
war, the courage of their votaries totally 
fails. The great god of the Phoenicians 
was Mclccartc, whose fabulous history 
in the main agrees with that of the 
Grecian Hercules. He claimed as his 
birth-place Thebes, a Phoenician colony ; 
and had his temple in Paloctyrus, to 
which Alexander was referred by the 
Insular Tyrians, when he wished to 
sacrifice to him : Esse templum Ilerculis 
extra urbcm, in earn sedcm quam Paloe- 
tyron ipsi vocant : ibi regem Deo sacrum 
rite facturum. Q. Curtius, iv. 2. (4.) 

S^ in the plural agrees with 
" I "] !i in the singular, on the principle, 
that the former is taken distributivcly. 

\ 2. That the riches here specified must 
have been those found in Paloctyrus 
and not those stored up on the island, 
would appear from what is stated, chap, 
xxix., that "neither he nor his army 
had wages from Tyre for the service 
which he had served against it." See 
on that passage. The throwing of the 
ruins of Tyre into the midst of the sea, 
will apply to the continental city, and is 
descriptive of its consignment to utter 

13. In striking contrast with the former 
joyousncss of the merchant-city, a death 
like silence was to ensue. The prophet 
in this and the following verse reaches 
the climax of his description, concluding 
with an almost verbal repetition of verses 
4 and 5. 

14. 11 r n:2r jib, than shall be built 
no more. This was literally fulfilled with 
respect to the continental city. That 
part which lay on the island recovered 
itself after the lapse of seventy years, 
as predicted by the prophet Isaiah, chap, 
xxiii. 17, 18, and was in a very flourish 
ing condition in the time of Alexander, 
by whom a causeway was constructed 
between the shore and it, by means of 
which he reached the city, and took it 
by storm after a siege of seven months. 

CHAP. XXVI. 15-20.] 



16 slayeth in the midst of thee? And all the princes of the sea 
shall descend from their thrones, and lay aside their mantles, and 
put off their embroidered garments ; they shall be clothed with 
trembling; they shall sit on the ground, and tremble every 

17 moment, and be confounded on account of thee. And they shall 
take up a lamentation for thee, and shall say to thee : How art 
thou destroyed, that didst dwell by the seas, the celebrated city 
which was strong at sea, she and her inhabitants, who inspired 

18 all its inhabitants with their terror. Now shall the islands 
tremble in the day of thy full ; the islands which are in the sea 

19 shall be troubled at thy departure. For thus saith the Lord 
Jehovah : When I make thee a desolate city, as the cities which 
are not inhabited, by bringing up the deep upon thee, arid the 

20 mighty waters shall cover thee ; Then I will bring thee down 
with those who go down to the pit, to the ancient people, and 
will make thee dwell in the land of the lowest regions, in the 
desolations which have been of old, with those who go down to 
the pit, that thou mayest not be inhabited ; but I will set glory 

15-18. The effects of the siege of Tyre 
were not to be confined to her inhabitants, 
but were to extend to her colonies. Of 
these she had many along the coasts 
and on the islands of the Mediterranean, 
in Greece, Italy, and Spain, of which 
the principal were Utica, Carthage, and 
Tartessus. Like her they were rich and 
powerful, and for a time were dependent 
upon her as the mother city. These 
maritime colonies are represented as 
struck with consternation on hearing 
what had befallen her ; their chief mag 
istrates, here called D; 1 ^ "^ ^ , princes 
of the sea, are said to have come down 
from their thrones ; and, exchanging 
their princely robes for those of mourn 
ing, to have sat down on the ground, 
trembling with amazement. Comp. Isa. 
xxiii. 8, 9. To express the greatness of 
their distress, they are said to have 
"clothed themselves with trembling"; 
Heb. triT^H , tremblings, i.e. great trem 
bling. For C*X, ver. 18, the Chaldce 
for B^X , islands or sea-coasts, which 
reading is found in several MSS., the 
Vulg. has naves, as if the original were 
ships. Some would make a dis- 

tinction between the two forms as here 
used, supposing that by "|?X , islands 
properly so called are meant, and by Q*X , 
maritime coasts; but the distinction is 
altogether imaginary. The same locali 
ties are intended in both members of the 
parallelism. The feature of the descrip 
tion C;3 * l?J 3 strong in the sea, must 
be referred to the insular part of the city, 
which had, been strongly fortified as the 
port for the protection of the warehouses 
and the shipping. The concluding clause 
of ver. 17 is descriptive of the despotic 
rule which the merchant-princes of Tyre 
exercised over the inhabitants, whether 
regular citizens or those who were there 
temporarily on business. PX2C , the 
departure of Tyre, signifies her disap 
pearance as a celebrated emporium. 

19. The "deep," and the "great (or 
many) waters," metaphors borrowed from 
the relative position of Tyre, figura 
tively describe the army of the king of 

20. The disappearance of Tyre is 
compared to that of the dead, who, 
placed in their sepulchre, are no more 
seen among the living. While this was 



[CiiAP. XXVII. 2, 3. 

21 in the land of the living; I will fill thee with terrors, and thou 
shalt not be ; and thou shalt be sought for, but shalt not be found 
any more for ever, saith the Lord Jehovah. 

to be the fate of that renowned city, 
Jehovah promises to set n 2JS, i/lory in 
the land of the living. This Grotius 
and others refer to the restoration of the 
Jewish polity, which, considering the 
frequent application of this term to the 
land of Judea, may seem a not unnatural 
interpretation, and, if meant to include 
the Messiah and his spiritual kingdom, 
for whose introduction that restoration 
was designed to be preparatory, may 
readily be admitted. Comp. Isa. iv. 2 : 
" And the Branch of Jehovah shall be 
"^sb." Thus interpreted, the passage 
may be considered as Messianic. Nor 
is it an unusual thing with the Hebrew 
prophets thus abruptly to introduce a 
reference to the Redeemer. I cannot 

admit the propriety of supplying X> 
before n r"j? > or carrying forward the 
force of that negative as Havernick, after 
the LXX. and Syr., has done, and so 
rendering, " I will not set glory in the 
land of the living," i.e. I will not restore 
thcc to thy former splendor. The con 
struction thus brought out is tame and 

21. The desolation of Tyre was to be 
so complete that it should be an object 
of terror to all who approached the spot 
where it had stood. Not a vestige of it 
was to remain : a prophecy which was 
literally fulfilled, for though insular Tyre 
afterwards rose into notice, the ancient 
continental city never recovered from 
her ruin. 


The prophet proceeds in this chapter to pive a detailed specification of the splendor, riches, 
and commerce of Tyre in the days of her prosperity, 1-11; the principal nations with 
which she traded, and the articles of merchandise which they respectively furnished, 
12-25; thence to the end we have a beautiful allegorical description of her downfall. 

1 AND the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying ; And thou, son 

2 of man, take up a lamentation concerning Tyre : and say to 

3 Tyre : O thou that dwellest beside the entrances of the sea, 
thou trader of the peoples to many sea-coasts, thus saith the 
Lord Jehovah ; O Tyre ! thou sayest, I am perfect in beauty. 

2. The prophet is commanded to com 
mence ""13 n i? , a funereal dirge over Tyre, 
consisting, agreeably to the nature of 
such ditties, of an eulogium in praise of 
her splendid qualities. 

3. Instead of "THd*?! the Kcri omits 
the Yod, and exhibits the regular form 
of the participle ^3^*^- c ? m xirra , 
entrances of the sea. The plural may 
have been adopted with reference to the 

double port of Tyre, at which vessels 
entered round the northern and southern 
ends of the island. These ports or 
harbors arc thus described by Strabo, 
(lib. xvi. cap. 2) : Svo 5 x ^i^tvas, 
rby fjiff K\fiffrby, rbf 8 a.v*iij.fvov, Si/ 
AlyviTTtov KaXovaiv. C^BS!! ^v-P > the 
emporium of the peoples, LXX. rtj> ^iropiia 
ruv Aaic, i.e. the great emporium to 
which the merchants of various nations 

CHAP. XXVII. 3-8.] 



4 In the midst of the seas were thy borders ; those who built thee 

5 perfected thy beauty. With cypresses from Senir they built for 
thee all thy boards ; they took cedar from Lebanon to make 

.6 masts for thee. Of oaks of Bashan they made thine oars. Thy 
deck they made of ivory inlaid in cedars, from the isles of 

7 Chittim. Thy sails were of fine cotton with embroidered work 
from Egypt. Purple and blue from the coasts of Elishah were 

8 thy awning. The inhabitants of Zidon and Arvad were thy 
rowers ; thy wise men, O Tyre, were in the midst of thee ; they 

resorted, and where they bartered or 
bought and sold their wares. To it 
were brought, in heavily laden caravans, 
the rich productions of India and other 
countries of the East, which passed 
through it on their way to Europe. 
Tyre was likewise celebrated for the 
commerce which she carried on with 
foreign parts by means of her fleets and 
colonies. As affluence and magnificence 
naturally engender pride, she is here 
represented as boasting of her splendor. 

4. Nothing could more admirably or 
more appropriately have set forth the 
magnificence of this maritime city than 
the figure of a gallant ship constructed 
with the best materials, and manned 
with the most skilful manners of the 
age. This exquisitely beautiful figure 
here introduced is broken in upon at 
verse 9, where the prophet resumes his 
description of the emporium, and pro 
ceeds with great minuteness to specify 
the principal articles in which she traded, 
and the different countries with which 
her commerce was carried on. It is, 
however, very fitly again taken up, vcr. 
26, when the prophet would describe 
the wreck to which the city should be 
reduced. For "1-3 > thy builders, some 
few of De Rossi s MSS. read T^?2 , thy 
sons, which reading the LXX. have 
adopted : viol aou : but the former, which 
has the suffrages of the Chaldean and 
Jerome, better suits the connection. 

5-8. "l" 1 ?^ > Senir, a name given by 
the Amorites to Hermon or the high 
southern point of Anti-Libanus, Deut. 
iii. 9. Like the rest of those mountain- 

ranges it abounded with a variety of 
choice and stately trees. D^PPP , boards, 
decks, which appear to have been con 
structed double. Tabulata duplicia : Sic 
vocat prophcta naves quod duo habeant 
latera aut duas cxtremitates, puppim et 
proram. (Monster.) Bashan was cele 
brated for its oaks, as Lebanon was for 
its cedars. Of the words D n .px-pa it 
is impossible to make any tolerable sense. 
I therefore prefer joining them together 
as one word. We thus read C^Tl JXna 
in one of De Rossi s MSS., which is 
approved of by Solomon Jarchi, Bochart, 
and Celsius. In this case G"H"li, ; xn will 
simply be the plural of "I HSXFI , a species 

of cedar called by the Arabs. 

Sherbin ; ivory inlaid in cedars, would 
thus be descriptive of the costly materials 
of which the ^"jp > deck, was composed. 
That ^7^? designates the sail, seems 
most naturally suggested by the etymol 
ogy l^Q i the root, signifying to spread 
out, expand. The Egyptians went to 
great expense in decorating the sails of 
their vessels with all kinds of embroidery. 
Witness the splendid barge of Cleopatra, 
in which she went to meet Anthony. 
nS513 denotes the covering or awning. 
!T^ n bx , Elishah, is so called, according 
to Gesenius, from Elis, a district of the 
Peloponnesus, and so put for the whole 
of Greece. Michaelis prefers Hellas, with 
a like extended signification. "P" 1 " 1 ^ > 
Zidon, see on chap, xxviii. 20. "I^.X > 
Amid, a small island near the coast 
of Phoenicia, now called Ruad. It oc 
cupied a very high rocky situation, and 


E Z E K I E L . 

[CHAP. XXVII. 8-12. 

9 were thy mariners. The elders of Gebal and her wise men 
were in thee thy caulkers ; all ships of the sea and their sailors 

10 were in thee to exchange thy barter. Persia and Lud and 
Put were in thy force, thy men of war ; the shield and helmet 

11 they hung up in thee. They furnished thy splendor. The 
sons of Arvad and thy force were upon thy walls around, and 
the Gammadim were in thy towers. They hung up their 
shields upon thy walls around ; they perfected thy beauty. Tar- 

12 shish was thy trader because of the abundance of all wealth; 
in silver, in iron, in tin, and lead they supplied thy markets. 

was about two hundred paces from 
the continent. Its inhabitants are still 
noted for their seafaring habits, \\poa-. 
fOfffav 5e TTJ tvTvx ia rav-rri, Kal irpovoiav, 
Kal tpiXoTtoviav Ttpbs TT)V 6a\aTrovpyiaf. 
(Strabo.) In our prophet they are 
classed with those of Zidon as furnishing 
mariners to Tyre. 

9. 5?? > (Ht tial, the name of a Phoenician 
city situated on a rising ground near 
the sea, between Beirut and Tripolis, 
and inhabited by ship-builders, who, 
according to Strabo, were originally 
fugitives from Zidon. It was called 
Byblos by the Greeks, who celebrated it 
ns the birthplace of Adonis. " 1 jT"Tn"2 
"^"13, literally: the repairers of tlnj 
breaches, which our translators, suppos 
ing the repairing of ships to be meant, 
have rendered, thy caulkers, and their 
translation seems perfectly justifiable 
from the connection. The word is else 
where used of the breaches or chinks in 
a building (2 Kings xii. 6). 2^> , to 
mix, intermix, as in trade : hence 3~1?.? 
^a"1?O , lit. to mix tlu/ inixincj, to carry 
on trade with thee ; to exchange com 

10. 0^3, Persia, i.e. the Persians; 
"115 , Lud, the Lydians of Mauritania in 
Africa, a people expert as archers ; and 
U"B , Put, the Putians, a people whose 
land was conterminous with that of Libya 
in the same direction west of Egypt. 
Warriors from the distant east, and 
likewise from the distant west, are rep 
resented as forming the military prowess 
of Tyre. The former might have been 

engaged by Tyrian colonists on the 
Persian Gulf where they had settlements ; 
and the latter at Carthage and other sea 
ports in Africa, to which the Phoenicians 
resorted. See my Commentary on Jcr. 
xlvi. 9 ; Nah. iii. 9. Ancient warriors 
were in the habit of hanging their ac 
coutrements on the walls, not only for 
the sake of convenience, but also for 
display as ornaments. 

1 1. The Tyrians employed the inhabi 
tants of Arvad both in their naval service 
(ver. 8), and in the defence of their city, 
which was surrounded by walls and 
ramparts. Who the C^ISSl , Gammadim 
were, who were employed for the same 
purpose, it is difficult to determine. 
Various conjectures, both ethnographical 
and philological, have been advanced ; 
but most of them are unsatisfactory; 
especially that of Michaelis, who, after 
the Kahhins, supposing the word to be 
allied to 1^.5, d oiiml, which signifies a 
cubit, imagined that it denoted men, 
who from their elevated position on the 
towers appeared like dwarfs to the people 
below. I should rather be disposed to 
consider the term as allied to the Arabic 

<_V t~^ ? duro animo ac immiti fuit, war 
riors of a fierce, intrepid, and cruel 
character, not improbably from Chaldea, 
who were hired by the Tyrians to serve 
in their army. Comp. Ilab. i. 6. 

12-25. The prophet now enters upon 
an enumeration of the different nations 
that traded with Tyre, beginning and 
ending with C^wJ^H , T<zrsA2sA,Tartessu8, 

CHAP. XXVII. 13-15.] 



13 Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy traders in persons 
of men, and implements of copper they supplied in thy market. 

14 From the house of Togarmah, horses and horsemen and mules 

15 they supplied in thy market. The sons of Dedan were thy 
traders : many coasts were the merchandise of thy hand ; horns 

16 of ivory and ebony they returned as thy present. P^dom was 
thy trader for the multitude of thy works ; with carbuncle, pur 
ple, and embroidery, and cotton, and corals, and ruby, they 

the celebrated Phoenician emporium in 
the west of Spain. From the extreme 
west, he returns by the countries border 
ing on Asia Minor to the regions on the 
Persian Gulf in the distant east, and 
thence back through Palestine to Tyre. 

12. Spain lias long been celebrated 
for the exuberant riches of the mineral 
kingdom. It is to be noticed, however, 
as a fact, that while she abounded in 
most of the metals, especially in silver, 
gold mines appear to have been only 
partially wrought, and they have long 
ceased to attract notice. Mines of iron 
and lead abounded, as they still do, in 
that country; but ^"12, stannum, tin, 
was a foreign article, conveyed from the 
tin-mines in Cornwall to Tartessus by 
the Phoenicians, and thence to Tyre and 
other parts of the east. 

13. *\ , Javan, a general term com 
prehending the whole of Greece, with 
which Tyre had much maritime inter 
course. That there should here be ref 
erence to a place of that name in Arabia 
Felix, which Gesenius thinks probable, 
is not borne out by the position of the 
name in Ezckicl, who first introduces 
Arabia at ver. 21. Tt-j^ bain, Tulxil 
and Meshech, occur in the same connec 
tion with *jl? , Javan, in the ethnograph 
ical table Gen. x. 2, and again offer 
themselves to our view, chaps, xxxii. 26 ; 
xxxviii. 2, 3 ; xxxix. 1, which see. They 
are now almost universally allowed to 
designate peoples known to Greek writers 
under the names of Moschi and Ttbareni, 
who inhabited the mountainous regions 
between the Black and Caspian seas. 
They were, according to our prophet, 


addicted to the slave-trade ; and it is 
worthy of remark, that till very lately 
the Turkish harems have been supplied 
with slaves imported from Circassia and 
Georgia, the females of which are cele 
brated for their beauty. By *bs are 
meant not merely vessels for containing 
articles, but instruments of all kinds, 
among others, weapons of war, arms, 
etc. These are still manufactured in 
abundance, and of excellent quality, by 
the inhabitants of Dcrbend and other 
parts of the Caucasus. Their swords 
are celebrated as equal, if not superior, 
to those of I )amascus. 

14. fTO iJ in , Togarmak, the northern 
Armenians, who call themselves the 
house of Tonjom, and claim Torgom or 
Togarmali, the son of Gomcr, as their 
founder. Compare Gen. x. 3 ; 1 Chron, 
i. 6. They inhabit the rough moun 
tainous regions on the south side of the 
Caucasus. The country was celebrated 
for its breed of horses, which were in 
great request with the Persian kings : 
Oi/ro) 5" tffT\v nriro06Tos cr<f>65pa 77 x^P a 
Strabo, lib. xi. tTw^B , steeds, horses 
used for riding, as distinguished from 
C^D^O , chariot-horses. 

15. "j^? , Dedan, an island or commer 
cial town in the Persian Gulf, established 
by the Tyrians to secure the trade ot 
India. "JO , tooth, that of the elephant, 
i.e. ivory, with which India abounded. 
The tusks resembling horns will account 
for the term m3"]J^, horns, being here 
employed. That by D^23tl we arc to 
understand ebony scarcely admits of a 
doubt. The name is retained in the 
Greek tfifvos and the Latin ebenum. 



[CHAP. XXVII. 15-20. 

17 furnished thy markets. As for Judah and the land of Israel, 
they were thy traders ; with wheat of Minnith and Panuag, 

18 and honey and oil and balsam, they furnished thy mart. Da 
mascus was thy trader in the multitude of thy works, because 
of the multitude of all wealth, in wine of Ilelbon and white 

19 wool. Vedan and Javan, from Uzal, furnished in thy mar 
kets polished steel, cassia, and calamus : they were in thy 

20 market. Dedan was thy trader in tapestry for riding. Arabia 

Gcscnius thinks the reason why it 
occurs in the plural is, that it was 
obtained only in planks split into pieces 
for transportation. Its great hardness 
made it an article of value. 

16. From the circumstances that Syria 
may be viewed as included under Da 
mascus in verse 18, and that no mention 
is made in the enumeration of Idumea, 
whose capital Petra formed a centre of 
traffic in ancient times, I am inclined to 
adopt the reading cnx , Edom, which is 
found in fifteen codices, has been in 
eleven more originally, and is confirmed 
by the reading C HX of the LXX., the 
Ilexaplar-Syriac and Arabic versions. 
The gems here specified are rather to 
be referred to the Indian Ocean, than 
to any places in connection with Syria. 
Tjyw^.T? 3" 1 ?, here, and ver. 18, is not 
to be understood of articles made or 
manufactured in Tyre, but of articles 
conveyed thither for traffic. LXX. Airb 
ir\i]6ovs TOV avun iKTOv ffov. 7)23 the 
LXX., in other places, render *Av9pa ; 
but here omit it. It was one of the 
precious stones in the breastplate of 
the Jewish high-priest, but of what kind 
cannot absolutely be determined, though 
it is generally supposed to have been 
the emerald. " 1 -"I? > the rub//. rV73X^ , 
though here reckoned among gems, was 
in all probability, as asserted by the 
Rabbins, the red coral, from its red, 
shining appearance. 

17. r"*: , Minnith, is mentioned as a 
city of the Ammonites, Judges xi. 33. 
Of 5?S , Pannag, nothing is known, but 
from the connection we should suppose 
it to be the name of a place. 

18. V ^prl , Ilelbon, Aleppo, the wines 
of which were held in such high estima 
tion that the Persian monarchs would 
drink no other. Tbv \a\vfiuvioi>, Strabo, 
lib. xv. 

19. Besides the fact that no other 
word in the enumeration of places in 
this chapter commences with the copu 
lative 1 , the name of Dan would seem 
to be so entirely out of place here, that 
there is certainly room for the conjecture 
that the Van in "j^l Vcdan, is not to be 
read as a conjunction, but forms an 
integral part of the word. Whether it 
may still be traced in Aden, a place 
famous for trade near the straits of 
Babelmandeb, may be queried. That 
pT^X , Uzal, probably so called from a 
descendant of Joktan (Gen. x. 27), was 
the original name of Sanaa, the ancient 
metropolis of Arabia Felix, was ascer 
tained by Niebtihr when he visited that 
country. It was famous for its sword 
blades, to which no doubt, as made from 
the ^."[1.3 > iron or steel here mentioned, 
reference is had. It is probable that 
the Javan here mentioned along with it, 
and described as having its origin from 
it, was founded by Greek colonists who 
had settled there. Instead of ^71X73 
thirteen codices read -JlXt? with a dif 
ferent pointing of the preposition. "" ^i? > 
cassia, an aromatic shrub resembling 
cinnamon, but less fragrant and valuable. 
By !"0]5 is meant calamus aromaticus, 
sweet cane or flag, growing in marshy 
ground, and used in the East for per 
fumes. It abounds in Arabia and Af 

20. The Dcdan here mentioned is to 

CHAP. XXVII. 20-24.] 



21 and all the princes of Kedar, they were thy traders in lambs, 

22 and rams, and he-goats ; in them they were thy traders. The 
merchants of Sheba and Ramah, they were thy traders ; with 
the chief of all spices and with all precious stones and gold they 

23 furnished thy markets. Ilaran, and Calneh, and Eden, the 

24 merchants of Sheba, Asshur, Chilmad, were thy traders. They 
were thy traders in splendid articles, in mantles, purple cloths, 
and embroidery, and damask stuffs bound together with cords, 

be distinguished from that which occurs 
ver. 15, and lay in northern Arabia. 
The inhabitants were descended from 
Keturah (Gen. xxv. 3), and were cele 
brated for their pastoral habits. Hence 
the articles with which they are de 
scribed as supplying Tyre, were such 
as their nomadic country and habits fur 

21. 7jT "T?1i % merchants: ^ de 
noting possession, or occupation. 

22. frasni X3-J Sheba and Raemah, 
countries in Arabia abounding in spices, 
gold, and precious stones. These arti 
cles the inhabitants obtained in part 
from India, and transported them in 
caravans to Tyre. 11 ; X"!2 , with the chief 
or best spices. Comp. Deut. xxxiii. 15. 
It was from that region that the queen 
came to behold the magnificence of 
Solomon. Tf.y OI?* thy deliverings, i.e. 
in traffic, one party handing over to 
another. The word is also used to 
denote the profits or gains obtained by 

23. -H, LXX. Xa#({, Arab. l-=> > 

a city of Mesopotamia, once the dwelling- 
place of Abraham, and afterwards cele 
brated for the defeat of Crassus. "\23 , 
Canneh, otherwise spelt Calneh, an Assy 
rian city situated on the eastern bank 
of the Tigris, opposite Scleucia, and 
identical with Ctesiphon of the Greeks. 
T35 Eden, was the name of a beautiful 
valley near Damascus, but occurring 
here in connection with Ilaran and 
Calneh, is in this case to be referred to 
the same country with them. Whether 
it is to be identified with the original 

abode of our first parents may be ques 
tioned. We are not authorized by the 
simple circumstance that the merchants 
of Sheba are here coupled with those of 
Haran, Canneh and Eden, to conclude 
with some expositors that a country in 
southern Arabia is intended ; since, if 
we consider the term as including Arabia 
Deserta, they will be brought into a 
conterminous position in reference to 
those countries, and regarded as, jointly 
with the inhabitants of those lands, 
carrying on trade with Tyre. "I13X , 
Assyria, as denoting the countries to 
the east of the Tigris, comes into its 
proper place. *^^5;? still remains in, 
obscurity. The LXX. Xapfj.dv. Scholz 
thinks it was probably the northern part 
of Media bordering on the Caspian sea ; 
but the name would seem to have been 
retained in the Kap/>Sri of Xenophon, 
which he describes as lying beyond the 
Euphrates, a large and flourishing city 
irdAis tvSatfi.iav xal /j.fyd\r] . The con 
nection of the name with that of Assyria 
favors this conjecture. 

24. From these eastern quarters Tyre 

derived supplies of all kinds of costly 


and beautiful garments. O 1 ??? ? , per 
fections, the most exquisite articles of 
finery. D^Slbj , mantles, wide, hanging 
garments, pallia. Compare the Greek 
X\a,uus. Koot, cba , to wrap or fold. 
C^TIJ , LXX. 07jeraupous ^KAKTOUS. The 
word is originally Persic, and signifies 
treasures, or chests in which they are 
deposited (Esth. iii. 9). From the con 
nection we should infer that precious 
cloths arc here meant. D ^ HS , damask 
stuffs, consisting of threads of various 

152 EZEKIEL. [CiiAP. XXVII. 24-36. 

25 and cedars, in thy market. Ships of Tarshish were thy walls, 
thy trade : thou wast replenished, thou wast greatly honored, in 
the heart of the seas. 

26 Thy rowers brought thee into great waters : the east wind broke 

27 thee in pieces in the heart of the seas. Thy riches and thy 
markets, thy exchange, thy mariners and thy pilots, thy caulkers, 
and those who bartered thy barter, and all thy warriors who 
were in thee, even with all thy collected multitude which was 
in the midst of thee, shall fall in the heart of the seas in the day 

28 of thy fall. At the sound of the cry of thy pilots the suburbs 

29 shall shake. And all who handle the oar, seamen, and all the 
the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships ; they 

30 shall stand on the land, And cause their voice to be heard 
respecting thee, and shall cry bitterly, and throw dust upon 

31 their heads, and wallow in ashes, And make themselves bald for 
thee with great baldness, and gird on sackcloth, and weep for 

32 thee in bitterness of soul, with bitter mourning ; And take up a 
lamentation for thee in their wailing, and lament for thee : Who 
was like Tyre, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea ? 

33 When thy wares went forth from the seas, thou didst glut many 
peoples ; with the multitude of thy riches and thy merchandise thou 

34 didst enrich the kings of the earth. Now thyself art broken by the 
seas in the depths of the waters ; thy merchandise and all thy 

35 company are fallen in the midst of thee. All the inhabitants 
of the coasts shall be astonished at thee, and their kings shall 

colors woven together in figures. Arab. England. They were the glory and 

s - o > defence of the merchant-city. 

.0 vestis ex utroquefilo contejcta. 
^V^ 26. All of a sudden Tyre is metaphor- 

25. The prophet now returns from ieally introduced as a ship foundered 

his enumeration of the various artielcs at sea. The instrument employed in 

of commerce with which Tyre enriched effecting her destruction was C n "i^in fj^, 

herself, and the various countries with the east u-iiul, which blowing in a violent 

which she traded, to commemorate her storm from Lebanon, is the most vehe- 

fall. But just before entering upon that mentof all in the Mediterranean. Comp. 

part of his subject, he stops for a Ps. xlviii. 8. Of course the reference is 

moment to advert to her navy, by to Nebuchadnezzar, who is represented 

which her wares were conveyed to Spain under this figure. 

and other coasts of the Mediterranean. 27. This specification has the finest 

ti^din r.^IX , ships of Tarshish, were effect. The destruction was to be utter 

comparatively speaking what our India- and irrecoverable. 

men are in the present day. They arc 28-36. Nothing can be more graphic 

called rn"V,y , the walls of Tyre, for the than the description here given of the 

Bame reason that we speak of our ships universal consternation and mourning 

of war as the wooden walls of Old produced by the fall of Tyre. 


36 greatly shudder at thee, their faces shall tremble. The mer 
chants among the peoples shall hiss at thee : thou shalt be an 
object of extreme terror, and shalt not be any more forever. 


In this chapter we have a sublime threnody on the prince of Tyre, couched in language of 
the keenest irony. His fall is lirst of all traced to hi.s insufferable pride, which is described 
in the most glowing terms, verses 2-0. His merited punishment is next announced, 
7-10. The prophet, in obedience to the divine command, then proceeds to deliver the 
funeral dirge, exaggerating the dignity and magnilicence of the fallen monarch, with 
which he contrasts his utter degradation, 11-19. Then follows a predictirn announcing 
the fall of the mother-city, Zidon, 20-23. And the chapter concludes with promises of 
deliverance to the Jews, and their restoration to prosperity in their own land, 24-20. 

1 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying : Son of man, say 

2 to the prince of Tyre : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Forasmuch 
as thy heart was lifted up, and thou hast said : I am a god ; I 
sit in the throne of God, in the heart of the seas : (whereas 
thou art a man, and no god), and hast set thy heart as the heart 

3 of God : Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel, nothing secret is 

4 hid from thee. By thy wisdom and thine understanding thou 
hast procured for thyself wealth, and hast gotten gold and silver 

5 in thy treasuries. By the greatness of thy wisdom and thy 
merchandise thou hast increased thy riches, and thy heart was 

6 lifted up because of thy riches. Therefore thus saith the Lord 
Jehovah : Because thou hast set thy heart as the heart of God, 

1. The monarch of Tyre, at the time the state and dignity of Oriental empires, 

when Ezekiel delivered his prophecy, having not only petty or subordinate 

was Ithbaal II., whose name has hcen kings, but one supreme monarch, in 

preserved in the Phoanician annals, whom concentrated the administration 

Joscphus, contra Apion, 21, calls him of the affairs of state. The king is, in 

\060a\os. The name is of frequent oc- the present instance, in language of the 

currcnce in compound proper names of keenest irony, represented as impiously 

Phoenician and Carthaginian men, and arrogating to himself equality with the 

indicates that the prince was specially Deity ; as did the king of Babylon 

addicted to the worship of Baal, the (Isa. xiv. 13). The contrast D^X rip.XI 

tutelary god of the Tyrians. He is here SX Xs"! , but thou art a man, and not (!<><!, 

designated "^3 , prince, for which name is inimitable. Thus was the pride of 

we have ^ ^ , kiny (ver. 12). Consid- his heart checked. 

ering the vast extent of riches possessed 3-6. Ezekiel ironically ascribes to 

by the Phoenician merchants, it is not Ithbaal a higher degree of wisdom than 

surprising that they should have emulated that displayed by Daniel, whose fame 



[CnAP. XXVIII. 6-13. 

7 Therefore, behold, I will bring against thee barbarians, the 
terrible of the nations, and they shall unsheathe their swords 
against the beauty of thy wisdom, and shall obscure thy splrn- 

8 dor. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt 

9 die the deaths of the slain in the midst of the seas. AVilt thou 
still say, I am God, before him that slayeth thee ? seeing thou 
art a man, and no god, in the hand of him that smiteth thee. 

10 Thou shalt die the deaths of the uneircumcised by the hand 
of barbarians ; for I have spoken it, saith the Lord Jehovah. 

11 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying: Son of man, 

12 take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him: 
Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Thou model seal, full of wisdom 

13 and of perfect beauty: Thou wast in Eden, the garden of God; 
every precious stone was thy covering ; the sardius, the topaz, 
and the onyx, the chrysolite, the sardonyx, and the jasper, the 
sapphire, the carbuncle, and the smaragd, and gold : the work 
of thy tabrets and thy pipes was in thee ; they were prepared in 

had reached the Tyrian court. Instead 
of acknowledging him in whose hand 
is the power to get wealth, he arrogated 
his vast prosperity entirely to himself, 
and thereby provoked the indignation 
of the Most llijrh. 

7. C^" ""^^"]" ^" T > foreigners, barba 
rians, the terrible ones of the nations, i.e. 
the Chaldeans, noted for their barbarity. 
Comp. Isa. i. 7 ; xxv. 2 ; Ezek. xxx. 11; 
xxxi. 12. 

8, 9. Ithbaal should be reduced to a 
state of the deepest degradation and 
infamy : his utter helplessness is strongly 
asserted. CTII E S , dmtlis, a peculiar 
form of the plural, to indicate emphati 
cally the most violent death. The death 
of the king of Tyre is compared to that 
of those slain in a sea-engagement, and 
cast into the deep. 

10. The uneircumcised are uniformly 
spoken of by the Jews as objects of 
contempt and abhorrence : hence the 
force of the threatening here employed. 

12. For the explanation of "" I - 1 J5 sec 
the custom referred to in my Comment. 
on Jer. ix. 16; Amos v. 16. Such a 
doleful ditty the prophet was now to 

pronounce over the king of Tyre. As 
it was customary on such occasions to 
reckon up the qualities for which the 
deceased was distinguished, in order 
thereby to enhance the greatness of the 
loss sustained, so E/ekicl begins by lav 
ishing bis praise of the kingly state of the 
Tyrian monarch as one of unequalled 
magnificence. r^izn "~." n "" v^ > thou 
art t/ic s<a/ of ifj iion. I prefer the 
pointing CTH , a xntl or s/i/nft, which 
is that of some codices and printed 
editions. We have thus the substantive 
instead of the participle. LXX. airo- 
ff<t>pdyia/j.a.. Seals were used for the 
purpoVe of authenticating or securing 
anything. When it is said, therefore, 
that the king was the seal of perfection, 
the meaning is that he could not be sur 
passed in riches, splendor, or power. 
The sum-total of all that was illustrious 
concentrated in him. lie vindicated to 
himself all that mortal could pretend to. 
"rri signifies to measure, take an accurate 
and perfect account of anything; hence 
the noun came to signify, in the highest 
sense, absolute perfection. 

13. Not content with a simple declara- 

CHAP. XXVIII. 13-17.] 



14 the day when thou wast created. Thou wast an anointed cherub 
which coveredst ; and I placed thee on the sacred mount of 
God : there thou wast ; in the midst of the stones of fire thou 

15 walkedst. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day in 
which thou wast created until wickedness was found in thee. 

16 By the greatness of thy merchandise they filled thy midst with 
violence, and thou didst sin ; then, from the mount of God, I 
treated thee as profane, yea, I destroyed thee from the midst of 

17 the stones of fire, O cherub which coveredst. Thy heart lifted 
itself up in thy beauty, thou spoiledst thy wisdom by reason of 
thy splendor ; I threw thee down on the earth, I placed thee 

tion to this effect, the prophet enters into 
particulars, and commences by placing 
the monarch in the primitive abode of 
man, with which was associated every 
idea of pleasure and delight. It is quite 
a lowering of the subject to suggest 
with Michaelis that he might have had 
a summer residence in the beautiful 
valley of the cedars of Lebanon, whither 
he retired during the hot season of the 
year. Eden was called the garden of 
God, because it was of his plantation, 
and formed the delightful scene of his 
divine manifestations to the first pair. 
To have been there, conveys the idea of 
the most distinguished honor and felicity. 
Taking occasion from his reference to 
Eden, with which the Bible history 
connects the existence of bdellium and 
onyx-stones, Ezekiel, with his usual 
minuteness, gives a detailed account of 
the precious gems which adorned the 
regal state. The nine precious stones 
here specified correspond to those with 
the same names in the description of the 
high priest s breastplate (Exod. xxxix. 
10-13). Those composing the third row 
are omitted in the Hebrew text, which 
Michaelis ascribes to an error of the 
copyist ; but they arc expressed in that 
of the LXX. The day of the creation 
of the king was that of his accession to 
the throne. It was celebrated, as such 
occasions usually arc, with outbursts of 
popular rejoicing. 

14. The fact of Ezekiel s mind having 

been led to dwell upon the scene in the 
Jewish temple, furnishes the key to the 
words T|5"5f3 ^"O , the cherub that cov- 
ereth. As the cherubim overshadowed the 
mercy-scat with their outspread wings, 
so the king of Tyre is represented as 
extending his protection to the city 
and all its interests. His regal position 
Jehovah vindicates to himself. Comp. 
Prov. viii. 16 ; Rom. xiii. J. lie was 
consecrated to this dignity, as everything 
connected with the temple was, and was 
so bespangled with gems that he might 
be said to walk in the midst of them. 
^ n n ^ ^"!!P "^H > tl te holy mountain of 
God. To this his illimitable ambition 
aspired. In imagination he occupied 
Mount Zion, the dwelling-place of the 
Most High 

15-17. The rectitude with which the 
monarch commenced his reign may be 
illustrated by a reference to the history 
of Hiram (1 Kings v. 7) ; but having in 
process of time become corrupt through 
the uninterrupted commercial prosperity 
of the Tyrian state, he indulged in un 
scrupulous acts of injustice and cruelty, 
on account of which merited punishment 
is here denounced. There is a palpable 
paronomasia in Tjr3?EP and !?? Both 
roots from which the verbs arc derived 
have the signification in common, to be 
briyht, shine, etc. Pride of heart arising 
from a consciousness of beauty has a 
strong tendency to corrupt the under 
standing. The royal personage was to 


E Z E K I E L . 

[CHAP. XXVIII. 17-23. 

18 before kings that they might look at thee. By reason of the 
multitude of thine iniquities, through the wickedness of thy 
merchandise thou hast profaned thy sanctuaries ; therefore I 
will cause fire to come forth out of thy midst, which shall con 
sume thee ; and I will reduce thee to ashes upon the ground in 

19 the sight of all who behold thee. All who knew thee among 
the peoples shall be astounded on thine account ; thou shall be 
an object of extreme terror, and shalt not be any more forever. 

20 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying : Son of man, set 
21 thy face against Zidon, and prophesy against her, and say: 
2 2 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I am against thee, O 

Zidon, and I will be glorified in the midst of thee, and they shall 
know that I am Jehovah, when I execute judgments in her, and 
23 am sanctified in her. And I will send on her pestilence, and 
blood in her streets, and the slain shall fall in the midst of her 
by the sword against her round about, and they shall know that 

be hurled from the summit of his eleva 
tion, from which he hud looked down 
with disdain on others, and to be made 
an example to the great ones of the 
earth of the nothingness of all earthly 
grandeur, and the guilt contracted bv 
violence and oppression. For ""^X"? 
read with one of Kennicott s codiees 

18. Instead of ?j v 4?;!P: ? > thy sanctuaries, 
forty of Kennicott s and De Rossi s 
codices read *|~;IP ? > thy sanctuary, in 
the singular. The sanctuaries of Tyre 
were the temples erected for the worship 
of the gods severally acknowledged by 
the different nations whose merchants 
frequented her port, and especially Her 
cules, the celebrated hero of Grecian 

20-23. The prophet is now commanded 
to turn for a moment from Tyre, and 
denounce the divine judgments against 
the neighboring city of Zidon. Having 
entered with so much particularity into 
his description of the fall of the former 
city, in which that of Zidon might be 
regarded as virtually implied, it was 
not necessary to do more than generally 
to predict the certainty of the divine 
inflictions. "p" 1 " 1 ^ Zidon, was a very 

ancient Pha-nician city, otherwise famous 
for its fishery (hence its name from "I"S , 
to hunt Jish, etc.), and afterwards for its 
extended and flourishing commerce both 
by sea and land. It became so noted 
for the manufacture of glass and other 
articles of luxury, that the epithet Sidonia 
cfrs was used by the ancients to denote 
whatever was elegant or magnificent. 
According to Straho, the Zidonians were 
celebrated for their skill in astronomy, 
philosophy, navigation, and all the lib 
eral arts. Zidon was founded by the 
first-born of Canaan (Gen. x. 15) ; and 
was situated, according to Strabo, two 
hundred stadia to the north of Tyre. 
Favored by its position on the coast 
of the Mediterranean, it early became 
celebrated for its commerce. In the time 
of Jacob, it is mentioned in connection 
with shipping (Gen. xlix. 13); and in 
that of Joshua, it is celebrated as a 
"great" city, (Josh. xi. 8; xix. 28). It 
lay within the boundary of the land 
assigned to the tribe of Asher ; but 
was never conquered by the Israelites, 
(Judg. i. 31 ). Its proximity to Lebanon 
procured it many advantages. At the 
present day, the town of Saida, ! tX-yfl , 
a little to the west, occupies its site. It 


24 I am Jehovah. And there shall no more be a pricking thorn or 
a nettle occasioning pain to the house of Israel of all who are 
around them, who treated them with despite, and they shall 
know that I am the Lord Jehovah. Thus saith the Lord Jeho- 

25 vah : When I collect the house of Israel from the peoples among 
whom I have scattered them, and am sanctified in them in the 
sight of the nations, and they shall dwell in their own land 

26 which I did give to my servant Jacob : Then shall they dwell 
in it securely, and build houses, and plant vineyards ; and dwell 
securely, when I execute judgments upon all who treated them 
with despite around them ; and they shall know that I am Je 
hovah their God. 

has a fine old ruined tower projecting Niplial, adopted for the purpose of more 

far into the sea, with a bridge of many forcibly expressing the completeness of 

arches that was built to reach it. See the destruction which should overtake 

Robinson s Palestine, iii. 415-428. In the Zidonians. Some trace of a paro- 

Matt. xi. 22, Tyre and Zidon are coupled nomasia may be detected in --5H ^bSJ . 
together. 24-26. These cities, which had been 

We have no authentic historical infor- a constant source of annoyance to their 

mation relative to the destruction of neighbors, and to none more than to 

Zidon, but there can be little doubt that the Jews, being rendered powerless, the 

it was effected by the same Chaldean people of God, restored from Babylon to 

power which overthrew Tyre. In fact, their own land, should enjoy all their 

as we have just observed, the destruction ancient privileges, and all around them be 

of the one virtually involved that of compelled to ascribe to Jehovah, as their 

the other. i^S3 , an emphatic form of covenant God, the glory due to his name. 


This forms the first of four chapters directed against Egypt. I haraoh, a monarch with 
whom the Hebrews were frequently in contact, is represented as vaunting in the security 
of his position, when the prophet is commissioned to announce the divine interposition 
to effect the desolation of his country throughout its whole extent, 1-12. Though after 
the lapse of forty years the Egyptian people were to be restored to their country, the 
kingdom was never to emerge from that state of degradation to which it should be 
reduced, 13-10. The following verses 17-20, distinctly announce the conquest of the 
country by Nebuchadnezzar; and the chapter concludes with a promise of future pros 
perity to the Jews, 21. 

1 IN the tenth year, in the tenth month, on the twelfth day of the 

2 month, the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying : Son of 
man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, yea, prophesy 

3 against him, and against all Egypt. Speak, and say : Thus saith 

3. n J"JQ , Pharaoh, was a general time of the Persian conquest. A more 
name of the kings of Egypt down to the appropriate emblem of these kings could 

158 E Z E K I E L . [CHAP. XXIX. 3-13. 

the Lord Jehovah : Behold, I am against thee, O Pharaoh, king 
of Egypt, the great sea-monster that croucheth in the midst of 
his rivers, who saith : My river is mine, and I made it for my- 

4 self. But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and will cause the fish 
of thy rivers to cleave to thy scales, and will bring thee up from 
the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall cleave 

5 to thy scales ; And I will thrust thee forth into the desert, both 
thee and all the fish of thy rivers ; upon the surface of the field 
thou shall fall, thou shalt not be gathered up nor collected; I 
have given thee to the wild beast of the earth and to the birds 

6 of heaven for food. And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall 
know that I am Jehovah, because they were a staiF of reed to 

7 lean upon to the house of Israel. When they laid hold of thee 
by thy hand, thou wast broken, and thou didst cleave for them 
the entire shoulder ; and when they leaned upon thee, thou wast 

8 broken, and all their loins were put out of joint. Therefore 
thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Behold, I will bring a sword 

9 upon thee, and will cut off from thee man and beast. And the 
land of Egypt shall become desolate and waste ; and they shall 
know that I am Jehovah ; because he said : the river is mine, 

10 and I made it. Therefore, behold, I am against thee, and against 
thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt most desolate and 
waste from Migdol unto Syene, and unto the border of Cush. 

11 No foot of man shall pass through her, neither shall foot of 
beast pass through her, and she shall not be dwelt in for forty 

12 years. And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the 
midst of desolate countries ; and her cities in the midst of deso 
late cities ; they shall be desolate forty years. And I will 
scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them 

13 among the countries. Yet thus saith the Lord Jehovah : At 
the end of forty years, I will gather the Egyptians from the 

not have been selected than that of C"n , of the crocodile, resembling as they do 

by which we arc to understand the croc- the plates of a coat of mail. Continuing 

odilc, the terrible sea-monster inhabiting his emblematical allusion, the prophet 

the Nile, whose usual size is about represents Jehovah as dragging up the 

eighteen or twenty feet in length, but monster with a hook, while attendant 

sometimes from thirty to forty. This shoals adhere to his scales for shelter, 

animal occurs on Roman coins as cm- 6, 7. All the alliances which the Jews 

blematical of Egypt. The C n ~N" |, rin rs, formed with Egypt proved fruitless and 

were the branches into which the Nile noxious. Comp. Isa. xxx. 1-5; 2 Kings 

was divided, and to which the country xviii. 21. 

was indebted for its fertility. C^p Jj? 8-1.3. The sword which God threatens 

arc appropriately descriptive of the scales to bring upon the king of Egypt was 

CHAP. XXIX. 13-20.] 



14 peoples whither they were scattered. And I will reverse the 
captivity of the Egyptians, and restore them to the land of 
Pathros, to the land of their nativity ; and they shall be there a 

15 base kingdom. It shall be the basest of the kingdoms, and shall 
not exalt itself any more over the nations. And I will diminish 

16 them, that they may not have dominion among the nations. And 
they shall no more be an object of confidence to the house of 
Israel, causing iniquity to be remembered, while they turn after 
them ; and they shall know that I am the Lord Jehovah. 

17 And it came to pass in the seven and twentieth year, in the first 

month, on the first of the month, that the word of Jehovah 

that of Nebuchadnezzar. Comp. verses 
18-20. ^ "fa W , Migdol, an d ?TJ D , Sevene, 
Strubo}vri, were cities at the two 
extremities of Egypt ; the former a few 
miles to the north of Suez in Lower 
Egypt ; and the latter near the modern 
city of Asevan, towards Nubia, celebrated 
for its ruins of temples and palaces. 

The period of forty years is supposed 
to include that from the conquest of 
Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar till she shook 
off the Babylonian yoke in the time of 
Cyrus. Some interpreters are of opinion 
that the years are not to be taken 
literally, but consider the language as 
hyperbolical. Fairbairn thinks that the 
prophecy is to be taken in a historico- 
ideal sense, and illustrates it by reference 
to the explanation he gives of chap. iv. 
Whatever there may be in this argument, 
or in the absence of strict chronological 
data in support of a simply literal sense, 
there is nothing in the circumstances of 
the case to warrant our absolute rejection 
of the latter. History so nearly quad 
rates with the language of the prophet, 
that little account is to be made of a 
few years more or less. 

14, 15. For Pathros see Comment, on 
Isa. xi. 11. On the conquest of Babylon 
by Cyrus, the Egyptians who with others 
were captives in that country, were set 
at liberty. The prediction that Egypt 
was to be the basest of kingdoms is not 
to be pressed so as to make it clash with 
the present condition of that country. 

It was sufficiently fulfilled in its con 
tinuance for so many centuries in such 
depressed circumstances as not to entitle 
it to be ranked with the ancient mon 
archies of the earth. It was never again 
to become a basis of confidence to the 
Jews. They should no longer hanker 
after protection from it, and thereby 
enhance the guilt anciently contracted 
by their fathers. Under Amasis, it was 
greatly reduced. It was still more 
humbled under Cambyses, by whom it 
was conquered ; and none of its attempts 
to recover itself under the Persian mon 
archy succeeded. Nor has it, amid all 
the changes to which its affairs have 
since been subject, ever acquired any 
thing in the shape of supremacy over 
other nations of the earth. Even in the 
present day, notwithstanding all that 
has been done for it by the Pashas, it 
still retains marks of inferiority. 

A period of nearly seventeen years 
intervened between the delivery of the 
preceding prophecy and that which fol 
lows, but they are thrown together in the 
canon as relating to the same subject. 

17-20. It is not to be inferred from 
these verses that Nebuchadnezzar was 
unsuccessful in his attack upon Tyre. 
All that can fairly be inferred from them 
is, that the spoils which he gained on 
that occasion were considered a very 
inadequate remuneration to him and his 
army for the vast expenditure of time 
and strength which it had cost him. 

160 EZEKIEL. [CHAP. XXX. 1-4. 

18 came unto me, saying: Son of man, Nebuchadrezzar, king of 
Babylon, caused his army to serve with great service against 
Tyre : every head was bald, and every shoulder made bare, 
while there was no pay to him and his army from Tyre, for the 

19 service which he served against her. Therefore thus saith the 
Lord Jehovah : Behold, I will give to Nebuchadrezzar, king of 
Babylon, the land of Egypt ; arid he shall take away her multi 
tude, and her spoil, and her prey, and she shall be pay for his 

20 army. As his wages for what he served against her, I have 
given him the land of Egypt, because they wrought for me, 

21 saith the Lord Jehovah. In that day I will cause the horn of 
the house of Israel to bud ; and I will .give thee an opening of 
the mouth in the midst of them ; and they shall know that I am 

Jehovah, whose work he had performed, rule, the Jews were to be restored to 

here promises to recompense him with their own land, and full liberty was to 

the conquest of Egypt. On breaking be given to the prophet to exercise his 

up from Tyre he proceeded to that ministry among them. Sacred history 

country, which he found so distracted is silent relative to the last days of 

by internal commotions, that he easily Ezckiel, but there is nothing that mili- 

devastated and made himself master of tatos against the supposition that he 

the whole land. returned with his fellow-countrymen 

21 . While Egypt was subject to eastern from Babylon. 


A second prophecy against Egypt, consisting of two parts, the first, verses 1-19, containing 
detailed predictions relative to the desolations which should overtake different parts of 
the country. The second part, 20-20, contains a repetition of the prophetic announce 
ments of the coming judgments in more general terms. 

1 AND the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying : Son of man, 

2 prophesy and say : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Howl ye ! 

3 alas, for the day ! For the day is near, even the day of Jehovah 
is near, a day of clouds : it shall be the time of the nations. 

4 For the sword shall come against Egypt, and great pangs shall 
be in Cush, when the slain fall in Egypt, and they take away 

1-3. The judgments to be inflicted were to overtake all the enemies of God 

should be so tremendous in their char- and of his people. 

acter, that they were calculated to 4. ftsnin is rendered doubly cm- 
produce feelings of the greatest alarm, phatic by the repetition of the syllable. 
not in the minds of the Egyptians only, The word is derived from 31H , which 
but in other heathen nations. They signifies to be in pangs as in childbirth. 

CHAP. XXX. 5-10.] 






her multitude, and her foundations are torn up. Gush, and 
Put, and Lud, and all the mixed people, and Chub, and the 
sons of the land of the covenant, with them they shall fall by 
the sword. Thus saith Jehovah : The supports of Egypt shall 
fall, and the pride of her strength shall come down ; from 
Migdol unto Syene they shall fall in her by the sword, saith the 
Lord Jehovah. And they shall be desolate, in the midst of the 
countries that are desolate, and its cities shall be in the midst 
of wasted cities. And they shall know that I am Jehovah, 
when I set a fire in Egypt, and all her helpers are destroyed. 
At that day shall messengers go forth from me in ships to terrify 
secure Cush, and great pain shall be upon them, as in the day 
of Egypt ; for, behold, it cometh. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: 
Then I will make the multitude of Egypt to cease by the hand 
of Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon. He and his people 
with him, the terrible of the nations, shall be brought to destroy 
the land ; and they shall unsheathe their swords against Egypt, 
and fill the land with slain. And I will make the rivers dry, 
and sell the country into the hand of the wicked, and will make 
desolate the land and her fulness by the hand of barbarians : I 

5. For TEW , Cush, see Comment, on 
Isa. xi. 1 1 . For BIB , Put, on Jer. xlvi. 9. 
For "TO, Lydia, on Isa. Ixvi. 19. By 
3")2 we are to understand a mixed mass 
of foreigners, most probably from the 
interior of Africa, who served in the 
Egyptian army. Comp. Exod. xii. 38 ; 
Jer. xxv. 20, 24. Where 313 , Chub, lay, 
has been much disputed. It appears to 
have been unknown to the translators 
of the LXX., for they have nothing cor 
responding to the word in their version. 
Michaelis is of opinion, that the name 
is to be found in Kube, a mercantile 
city on the Indian Ocean, described by 
ancient geographers as lying on the 
eighth degree of north latitude. The 

Arabic version reads XJJUt J^f , 

the inhabitants of Nubia, which has been 
thought to be supported by 31D3 , the 
primary reading of one of De Rossi s 
MSS. ; but Nubia is always expressed 
in Hebrew by W3 , Cwth. T$* ^3 
^ari , the sons of the land of the cove- 

nant, cannot well be otherwise ex 
plained than as signifying the Jews, 
who carried Jeremiah the prophet into 
Egypt, and who had taken up their 
abode there. Even they were not to 

6-8. Egypt was to share the fate of 
the other countries that had been con 
quered by Nebuchadnezzar. She and 
her auxiliaries were to be involved in 
one common destruction. 

9. The Ethiopians, lying beyond the 
cataracts of the Nile, might deem them 
selves secure from the attack of the 
invader, but they also should not escape. 
Messengers were to be despatched by 
skiffs on the Nile as far as navigable, to 
announce the irruption of the Chaldeans. 
Comp. Isa. xviii. 2. B h . j!TO D"H3 , as 
the day of Egypt. A similar judgment 
should overtake the Ethiopians to that 
which was to be inflicted on the Egyp 

10. The multitude, refers to the then 
existing population, which, according to 



[Ciixp. XXX. 12-18. 

13 Jehovah have spoken it. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : I will 
also destroy the idols, and cause the gods of nought to cease 
from Noph, and there shall be no more a prince of the land of 

14 Egypt; and I will set fear in the land of Egypt. And I will 
devastate Pathros, and set fire in Zoan, and will execute judg- 

15 ments in No. And I will pour out my fury upon Sin, the 

16 fortress of Egypt, and cut off Ilaman No. And when I set fire 
in Egypt, Sin shall be in great pain, and No shall be broken in 

17 upon, and Noph shall be in daily distress. The youths of Aven 
and Pi-beseth shall fall by the sword, and the women shall go 

18 into captivity. And in Tahpenhes the day shall become dark, 
when I break there the sceptres of Egypt ; and the pride of her 
strength shall cease in her ; as for herself a cloud shall cover 

19 her, and her daughters shall go into captivity. And I will exe 
cute my judgments on Egypt, and they shall know that I am 

20 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first month, on 

the seventh of the month, that the word of Jehovah came unto 

21 me, saying : Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh, king 
of Egypt ; and, behold, it shall not be bound up by giving 
medicines, laying on a bandage to bind it and strengthen it, that 
it may handle the sword. 

all the accounts of the ancients, must 
have been very great. 

12. Comp. Isa. xix. 5-10. The drying 
up of the canals of the Nile would 
greatly facilitate the conquest of the 
country by the invading army. 

13. r : 3 , Aoy-i/f, i.e. Memphis, theancient 
capital of Middle Egypt, and the chief 
city of her gods. See Comment, on 
Isa. xix. 13. 

14. 15. ")" ,Zoan, one of the principal 
cities of Lower Egypt, and a royal resi 
dence of the Pharaohs. Sec Comment, 
on Isa. xix. 11. It would be one of the 
first places attacked by Nebuchadnezzar. 
SO , A o, Diospolis, or Thebes, the ancient 
metropolis of Upper Egypt, the splendid 
ruins of which, as exhibited by Wilkin 
son, are such as to excite the greatest 
astonishment. TP > Sin, i.e. Pelusium, 
situated on the north-eastern frontier 
of Egypt, which having been strongly 
fortified, and surrounded by marshes, 

was regarded as the key to the country. 

1G. C*: 1 ! 1 "H2 , enemies daily, i.e. day 
after day, perpetually, till the city, how 
ever obstinate might be her resistance, 
should be taken. 

!" "|!3^ j Aven, On, or Ilr-Uopolis, cele 
brated for its temple of the sun, hence 
called Belhshemcsh by the Hebrews. 
Comp. Jer. xliii. 13. It lay a few miles 
north of Memphis on the eastern bank 
of the Nile. PCS" 1 !?, PUu-seth, the 
principal city of the region of Bubastis, 
whose temple attracted vast numbers of 
people to its festivals. Though entirely 
destroyed, the fine granite stones which 
mark its site confirm the account given 
by Herodotus of its ancient magnificence. 

18. Cn:snn , Tahpenhes, a strongly 
fortified frontier-city, near Pelusium. 
Sec Comment, on Isa. xxx. 4 ; Jer. ii. 16. 
LXX.To^i/T), Daphne. miSTS , if pointed 
rv.I3T3, will signify sceptres; if PIBfe, 
yokes. Either meaning will well suit 


22 Wherefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Behold, I am against 

Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and I will break his arms, the strong 
one, and the broken one, and will cause the sword to fall out of 

23 his hand. And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, 

24 and disperse them through the countries : And I will strengthen 
the arms of the king of Babylon, and put my sword into his 
hand ; and I will break the arms of Pharaoh, and he shall groan 
before him with the groanings of one who is deadly wounded. 

25 And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and the 
arms of Pharaoh shall fall ; and they shall know that I am 
Jehovah, when I give my sword into the hand of the king of 

26 Babylon, and he shall stretch it over the land of Egypt. And 
I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse 
them in the countries, that they may know that I am Jehovah. 

the connection, but the former would Euphrates were taken from the Egyp- 

scem the preferable. tians, his strength was now to be com- 

22-26. In addition to the victories pletely broken. His armies were to be 

gained by Nebuchadnezzar over Pharaoh- so totally annihilated as to be unable to 

Necho, by which the conquests of the engage any more in war against the 

latter from the river of Egypt to the conqueror. 


In this chapter, which was delivered two months later than the prophecy contained in the 
concluding part of that which precedes, we have one of the most finished and beautiful 
specimens of Ezekiel s composition. In order to furnish a palpable exhibition of the 
awful catastrophe which awaited the Egyptian monarchy, the prophet gives a striking 
parabolic description of the Assyrian empire in its most flourishing state, comparing it 
to one of the majestic trees of Lebanon, on the glory of which he expatiates with the 
richest luxuriance, 1-9. lie then by a sudden transition depicts the precipitation of 
the king of Nineveh from the proud position which he had held among the monarchs 
of the earth, and thereby foreshadows the fate of Pharaoh, who was to be delivered 
into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, 10-18. 

1 AND it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the third month, on 

the first of the month, that the word of Jehovah came unto me, 

2 saying: Son of man, say to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and to his 

2. The prophet was to commence with throughout of Egypt, but such an opinion 
a direct address to Pharaoh, which he is not in keeping with the tenor of the 
accordingly does by introducing his parable. It is merely a momentary 
beautiful parable. From the circum- divarication indicative of the application 
stance that the address is changed at on which it was to be made to tell, 
the tenth verse into the second person, That by T^K , vcr. 3, we are to under- 
some have concluded that Ezekiel speaks stand the cedar, and not the pine or the 



[CHAP. XXXI. 2-10. 


multitude : "Whom art them like in thy greatness ? Behold, 
Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon, of beautiful branches, and 
giving thick shade, and lofty of stature, and his top was among 
thick boughs. The waters made him great, the abyss made 
him high, flowing with its streams around his plantation, and 
sent forth its rivulets to all the trees of the field. Therefore 
his height was greater than all the trees of the field, and his 
boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because 
of the many waters which he sent forth. In his boughs all the 
fowls of heaven made their nests, and under his branches all the 
beasts of the field brought forth their young, and in his shadow 
dwelt, all great nations. And he was beautiful in his greatness, 
in the length of his branches, because his root was towards 
many waters. The cedars in the garden of God did not hide 
him, the cypresses were not comparable to his boughs, and the 
plane-trees were not as his branches ; no tree in the garden of 
God was comparable to him in his beauty. I made him beauti 
ful in the largeness of his branches, and all the trees of Eden 
envied him, which were in the garden of God. Therefore thus 
saith the Lord Jehovah : Because thou wast so high in stature, 
and he set his top among the thick boughs, and his heart was 

juniper, the nature of the case before us 
absolutely requires. No tree is more 
remarkable for tbe magnificence of its 
appearance, and no object could have 
been more appropriately selected to set 
forth the surpassing glory of the king- of 
Assyria, than the cedar of Lebanon. It 
is generally from fifty to eighty feet high, 
and the diameter of the space covered 
by its branches is much greater than its 
height. No tree equals it in tallncss, 
symmetry, and bulk. Such had been 
the mighty monarch of the Assyrian 
empire, that none of the great ones of 
the earth could for a moment compare 
with him. 

3-7. The reference Ix-ing to Assyria, 
there is no necessity, with Michaelis, to 
cast about in search of rivers on mount 
Lebanon corresponding to the description 
here given. Assuredly there is nothing 
deserving the name of Dl HI-1 , abyss, to 
be found there. The language is ap 
propriately descriptive of the waters of 

the Tigris with its branches and canals, 
which irrigated the Assyrian empire. 
They are paraholically represented as 
supplying nourishment to its roots, since 
they afforded protection to all the sur 
rounding countries. 

8, 9. As in his portraiture of Tyre, 
the prophet had recourse to the garden 
of Eden, than which nothing surpassing 
was to be conceived, so he represents 
the monarch of Nineveh as so greatly 
excelling the goodliest of its trees, that 
they might be said to have envied him. 
The irony here is the keenest imagin 

10. Ezekiel would seem here to have 
fallen out of his parable, and by antici 
pation to have applied it to the king of 
Egypt ; hut the change of person may 
be accounted for by his having mentioned 
him at verse 2, and his keeping him 
prominently in his eye, though the direct 
application of the parable was reserved 
for verse 1 8. 

CHAP. XXXI. 11-18.] EZEKIEL. 1(35 

1 1 lifted up in his height : Therefore I have delivered him into the 
hand of a mighty one of the nations ; he shall assuredly deal 

12 with him ; according to his wickedness I drove him out : And 
strangers, the terrible ones of the nations, shall cut him off, and 
thrust him forth ; on the mountains and in all the valleys his 
branches shall fall, and his boughs shall be broken in all the 
channels of the earth ; and all the peoples of the earth shall 

13 come down from his shadow, when they thrust him forth. On 
his fallen mass all the fowls of heaven shall dwell, and upon his 

14 branches shall be all the beasts of the field. In order that none 
of all the trees by the waters may exalt themselves in their 
growth, nor shoot up their top among the thick boughs, and 
that none that drink water may remain beside them in their 
height, for all of them are delivered over to death beneath the 
earth, among the sons of men who have gone down to the pit. 

15 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : On the day of his descent into 
Sheol, I will cause mourning: on his account, I will cover the 
abyss, and withhold its rivers, and great waters shall be re 
strained ; and I will cause Lebanon to mourn for him, and all 

16 the trees of the field shall be covered with darkness. At the 
sound of his fall I made the nations to shake, when I brought 
him down into Sheol, with them that go down to the pit, and 
all the trees of Eden, the choicest and best of Lebanon, all that 
drink water shall console themselves in the nether parts of the 

17 earth. They also shall descend with him into Sheol, to the 
slain with the sword ; and his arm that dwelt in his shadow in 

18 the midst of the nations. Whom art thou thus like in glory, 
and in greatness, among the trees of Eden ? yet shalt thou be 

11-17. It makes no difference as to the fall of Nineveh is represented as so 

the sense, whether we read 5N or ? n X : tremendous that the nations shook to 

both signify a miyhty or strony one. For their centre ; and all the chief princes 

iSNE^a upwards of fifty-eight codices of the earth that had hcen her auxiliaries, 

and several of the older and many other together with those in inferior stations 

editions read I SO^S > which has the who had enjoyed her protection, are 

support of the Syriac and Vulgate vcr- presented to our view as descending into 

sions. The Assyrian monarch, whose Hades, the common receptacle of the 

fall is here so graphically described, was dead. Comp. Isa. xiv. 9-11. 
Sardanapalus. The subversion of his 18. Ezekicl now directly applies his 

mighty empire was so complete, that it sublime parable, showing that though the 

might well be appealed to as an example figurative description set forth the mag- 

from which all other nations might take nificencc and ruin of the king of Assyria, 

warning. It should occasion universal the prophet had in his eye the Egyptian 

lamentation. The crash produced by monarch, whom a similar fate awaited. 

1G6 E Z E K I E L . [CHAP. XXXII. 2-8. 

brought down with the trees of Eden to the nether parts of the 
earth : in the midst of the uncircumcised thou shalt lie with the 
slain by the sword : this is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith 
the Lord Jehovah. 


The prophet, not satisfied with depicting in language of surpassing force and elegance the 
pride and downfall of Kgypt, as shadowed forth by thoso of the Assyrian empire, now 
presents the same subject in a different form. The chapter consists of two parts : the lirst, 
comprising verses 1-10, contains another prophetic ode, in which, under the bold images 
of a lion and a crocodile that had committed awful devastation among the nations, but 
which had been taken and slain, the prowess and downfall of the monarch of the Kile 
are strikingly exhibited. In the remainder of the chapter, verses 17-32, Pharaoh and 
the mighty heads of the nations that had fallen in war are presented to view in tho 
unseen world, each in his gloomy mansion, all combining to augment the terror which 
the fate of Pharaoh was calculated to inspire. 

1 AND it came to pass in the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on 

the first of the month, that the word of Jehovah came unto me, 

2 saying: Sou of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh, king 
of Egypt, and say to him : Thou art like a young lion of the 
nations, and as a sea-monster in the seas, and thou didst break 
forth in thy rivers, and puddle the waters with thy feet, and 

3 trample their rivers. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : I will 
spread my net over thee in the collection of many peoples, and 

4 they shall draw thee up in my net. And I will dash thee 
on the ground, and cast thcc headlong in the open field, and 
will make all the fowls of heaven to settle upon thee, and will 

5 satiate the wild beasts of the whole earth with thee. And I 
will lay thy flesh upon the mountains, and fill the valleys with 

G thy height. And I will saturate the land to the mountains with 
the inundation of thy blood, and they shall fill the channels 

7 with thee. And in extinguishing thee I will cover the heavens, 
and make the stars thereof dark ; I will cover the sun with a 

2. It was usual with the Orientals to of Egypt by the Chaldeans. Compare 

compare a kins; to the lion ; in addition chap. xxix. 3, 4. WS l is properly rcn- 

to which, Pharaoh is here compared to dcrcd /td /Itt in the common version, and 

the crocodile, the most formidable marine i:; descriptive of the immense size of the 

monster in the Nile. crocodile, viewed as reaching up the 

.3-6. The scene of the capture of the sides of the valleys. 

crocodile, by a multitude of people as- 7, 8. Here the imagery is borrowed 

semblcd on the bank of the river, graph- from the extinguishing of the luminaries 

ically represents the seizure of the king of heaven. M33 signifies to go out or be 

CHAP. XXXII. 8-20.] E Z E K I E L . 167 

8 cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the shining 
lights of the heavens I will clothe with blackness, on thy account, 

9 and make it dark over thy land, saith the Lord Jehovah. And 
I will trouble the heart of many peoples when I bring thy 
breach among the nations in lands which thou knewest not. 


10 And I will cause many people to be amazed at thee, and their 
kings shall be violently agitated at thee, when I brandish my 
sword in their sight, and they shall tremble every moment, each 

11 for his own life in the day of thy fall. For thus saith the Lord 
Jehovah ; The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon 

12 thee. By the swords of heroes I will cause thy multitude to 
fall, all of them the terrible of the nations ; and they shall 
destroy the pride of Egypt, and all her multitude shall be 

13 destroyed. And I will destroy all her cattle from the many 
waters, and the foot of man shall not puddle them any more, 

14 neither shall the hoofs of cattle puddle them. Then I will cause 
their waters to subside, and make their rivers to flow like oil, 

15 saith the Lord Jehovah. When I make the land of Egypt 
desolate, and the land is laid waste of her fulness, when I smite 
all the inhabitants therein, then they shall know that I am 

16 Jehovah. It is a lamentation, and the daughters of the nations 
shall utter it, they shall utter it, for Egypt and all her multitude 
they shall utter it, saith the Lord Jehovah. 

17 And it came to pass in the twelfth month, on the fifteenth of the 

18 month, that the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying: Son 
of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt, and cause her and the 
daughters of splendid nations to descend to the nether parts of 

19 the earth, with those who go down to the pit. By whom wast 
thou surpassed in beauty ? descend, and lie with the uncir- 

20 cumcised. In the midst of the slain with the sword they shall 
fall : she is delivered to the sword : drag her along and all her 

quenched. The consequence of the dis- entirely cease, so that there would be 

appearance of Pharaoh from the political nothing to disturb the peaceful flow of 

horizon would be universal gloom. the Nile. 

9, 10. The report carried among the 16. Females were distinguished as 

nations by the scattered Egyptians would mourners among the Egyptians, as they 

be productive of the greatest constcrna- still are in the East. To this custom 

tion. the prophet has been here supposed to 

12. The magnificent ruins of the eel- allude; but by r\}53 , dany liters, I should 

ebrated temples and cities of Egypt rather suppose he means cities, as T3 

testify to this day to the fulfilment of ^y2,daii<jhter of Babel, "j""^X r^,daugh- 

the prophecy. ter of Zidon. 

13,14. Commerce and pasturing should 17-20. The number of the month is 

108 E Z E K I E L . [CHAP. XXXII. 20-32. 

21 multitudes. The strongest of heroes shall speak with him from 
the midst of Sheol, with those who helped him ; they shall 
descend, they shall lie down, the uncircumcised, slain with the 

22 sword. There is Assyria and all her company ; round about 
him are his graves ; all of them slain, the fallen by the sword ; 

23 Who have placed their graves in the sides of the pit, and her 
company is round her grave, all of them slain, fallen by the 

24 sword, who caused their terror in the land of the living. There 
is Elam and all her multitude around her grave, all of them 
slain who had fallen by the sword, that have descended uncir 
cumcised to the lowest parts of the earth, that caused their 
terror in the land of the living ; and bear their reproach with 

25 those who go down to the pit. In the midst of the slain have 
they placed a bed for her, with all her multitude ; her graves 
are round about him ; all of them uncircumcised, slain by the 
sword ; though they caused their terror in the land of the living, 
they also bear their reproach with those who go down to the 

26 pit; they are placed in the midst of the slain. There is Meshech, 
Tubal, and all her multitude, her graves are round about him; 
all of them uncircumcised, pierced by the sword, though they 

27 caused their terror in the land of the living. Shall they not lie 
with heroes that have fallen, of the uncircumcised who have 
gone down to Sheol, with their weapons of war? and their 
swords were laid under their heads ; and their iniquities on 
their bones, though they were the terror of heroes in the land 

here omitted, but it is generally allowed 21-32. The change in the gender of 

to have been the twelfth, and that the the pronouns, in these and some other 

command was given fourteen days after parts of the prophecy, has been satis- 

the preceding vision. Ezekiel is here f actorily accounted for on the principle 

charged to compose a funereal dirge, to that now the prophet has the monarch 

be sung at the interment of Egypt, which in his eye, and now the nation, a cir- 

in common with the most celebrated cumstance which is not without its 

nations of antiquity was to be laid low parallels in Hebrew composition. To 

in Sheol. The prophet is commanded aggravate the condition of Pharaoh in 

to do what he was to predict should be Sheol, the representatives of the prin- 

donc, vcr. 18. How cutting the ironical cipal nations of antiquity with which 

interrogation : " By whom wast thou the Jews were brought into contact are 

surpassed in beauty?" The humiliation enumerated as each occupying his ap- 

should be complete. " Down into the propriate niche, but principally Assyria 

region of the shades ! There thou wilt surrounded by the slain of his people, 

find befitting companions who will ad- For him is allotted the remotest corner 

dress thee, not in the language of com- of the dark abode. Elam, which formed 

miscration.butin that of taunt." Comp. partof the ancient Persian empire, follows 

Isa. xiv. 9, 10. next in succession, that people having 

CHAP. XXXII. 2G-32.] 

E Z E K I E L . 


28 of the living. Thou also shalt be broken in the midst of the 
uncircumcised, and thou shalt lie with the slain by the sword. 

29 There is Edom, her kings, and all her princes, who notwith 
standing their might are laid with the slain by the sword : they 
lie with the uncircumcised and with those who descend to the 

30 pit. There are the anointed of the north, all of them, and all 
the Zidonians, who have descended with the slain notwithstand 
ing their terror, ashamed of their might ; they also shall lie 
uncircumcised with the slain by the sword ; and they shall bear 

31 their reproach with those who go down to the pit. Then shall 
Pharaoh behold ; he shall be comforted for all his multitude, slain 
with the sword, Pharaoh and all his host, saith the Lord Jehovah. 

32 Surely I set my terror in the land of the living, and he shall be 
laid in the midst of the uncircumcised, with the slain by the 
sword, Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord Jehovah. 

been mighty warriors, and specially 
distinguished as bowmen, Isa. xxii. 6. 
Their destruction by Nebuchadnezzar 
was predicted by Jeremiah, xlix. 34-38. 
26, 28. The northern Asiatic nations 
are introduced, to show that they were 
not to be exempted from the general 
destruction. With Havcrnick and Fair- 
bairn I understand the negative at the 
beginning of vcr. 27, interrogatively 
" shall they not lie ? " otherwise there 
would be no consistency between this 
and the following verses. There is here 
an allusion to the custom of the ancients, 
whereby they interred along with dis 
tinguished warriors, the armor they 
had worn (Diod. Sic. lib. 18). Though 
honored in Sheol with their swords under 
their heads, it told to their disgrace, 
because of the terror which they had 
spread by their savage incursions into 
more southern regions. 

29. Idumea was governed not only 
by kings, but also by E^X" 1 ^!! princes, 
who exercised a subordinate authority 
in separate provinces. They were the 
indomitable enemies of the Jews. For 
specific prophecies against that country, 
see Isa. xxxiv. 5, 10-17 ; Jer. xlix. 13-18. 
Dr iiasa , natm&iUatding their might. 
2 , nonobstunlc. Sec Isa. xlvii. 9. 

30. The yiBU "?^D3 , princes of the 


north, as distinguished from the other 
potentates, and occurring as they here 
do in connection with the Zidonians, 
must be taken as signifying those of 

Damascus, Syria, Hamath, etc. -LJ - 

Sham, the name by which Syria is still 
known among the Arabs, properly sig 
nifies the country on the left hand, or 
the north, as Yemen does the south. 
These were also to be destroyed by 
Nebuchadnezzar, previous to his conquest 
of Egypt. The prophet beholds them 
in Sheol, ashamed of their heroism which 
had spread terror among their con 

31, 32. Finally, Pharaoh himself is 
introduced into the scene as consoling 
himself over his own destruction and 
that of his vast population! with the 
thought, that they were not the only 
sufferers, but had merely shared the 
fate of many other kings and nations. 
This of course is the language of irony, 
lie should experience, that however 
great might have been the terror inspired 
by their murderous deeds of war, that 
which was to be expected from the 
inflictions of Jehovah would far exceed 
it. For 1 rHFin , his terror, the Keri has 
the reading, T^Fin , my terror, which 
better suits the connection. 

170 EZEKIEL. [CHAP. XXXIII. 1-20. 


Ezekiel, having reviewed the hostile nations around and predicted their downfall, returns 
now to his own people. The first nine verses contain little else than a repetition of 
chap. iii. 17-21. They set forth in solemn and awful language the duty of a watchman, 
and are highly deserving of the serious and constant consideration of nil Christian 
teachers. The. prophet is then instructed what reply to give to the impious cavils of his 
unbelieving countrymen, and hovv to vindicate the impartiality of the divine conduct 
in punishing them, 10- 20. This he gives in language for the most part parallel to that 
employed chap, xviii., where the same subject is treated <-f. The prophet, having re 
ceived information of the destruction of .Jerusalem, proceeds to announce that the whole 
country of Israel should be involved in the calamity, 21-29. Before eloMng he is charged 
to deliver a solemn message t.> such Jews as professedly took delight in listening to his 
words, hut refused to comply with their requirements, 20-33. 

1 AGAIN the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying: Son of man, 

2 speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them : When 
I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a 

3 man of their coasts, and appoint him for their watchman ; And 
he seeth the sword coming against the land, and bloweth the 

4 trumpet, and warneth the people : Then whosoever heareth the 
sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning, and the sword 
shall come and take him away, his blood shall be on his own 

5 head, lie heard the sound of the trumpet, but took not warn 
ing ; his blood shall be upon him ; but he that taketh warning 

6 delivereth his soul. But the watchman who shall see the sword 
come, and shall not blow the trumpet, and the people is not 
warned, and the sword shall come and shall take away a person 
from them, he shall be taken away in his iniquity ; but his blood 

7 will I require at the watchman s hand. So thou, Son of man, I 
have set thee a watchman to the house of Israel ; hear therefore 

8 the word from my mouth and warn them from me. When I 
say to the wicked : O wicked man, thou shalt surely die ; and 
thou speakest not to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked 
one shall die in his iniquity ; but his blood will I require at thy 

9 hand. And thou, when thou warnest the wicked of his way to 
turn him from it, and he turneth not from his way, he shall die 

1-6. It was customary to have a 2. Cfl"S~. This form is only ap- 

watchman stationed on a tower or a parently plural, there hemp: no such 

mountain, whence he could command nn absolute as Q"^|2 to which to refer the 

extensive view, so that, when the country word. 

was threatened with invasion, he might 7-20. An application of the reference 

by blowing a trumpet or lighting a to the watchman to the prophet s own 

beacon give timely warning. Compare case. His appointment, however, was 

Isa. xxi. 6-10; Hub. ii. 1. much more solemn, since it had not 

CHAP. XXXIII. 20-21 .] E Z E K I E L . 171 

10 in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered thy soul. And them, son 
of man, speak to the house of Israel : Thus ye speak, saying : 
Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we pine 

11 away in them : how then should we live ? Say unto them : As 
I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, I have no pleasure in the death 
of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and 
live ; turn ye, turn ye from your wicked ways, for why will ye 

1 2 die, O house of Israel ? And thou, son of man, say unto the 
children of thy people : The righteousness of the righteous shall 
not deliver him in the day of his sin ; and as for the wickedness 
of the wicked, he shall not fall by it in the day of his turning 
from his wickedness ; and as for the righteous, he shall not be 

13 able to live by it in the day when he sinneth. When I say unto 
the righteous, he shall surely live, and he trusteth in his right 
eousness, and committeth iniquity, all his righteousness shall not 
be remembered, but he shall die for his iniquity which he hath 

14 committed. And when I say to the wicked, Thou shalt surely 
die, and he turneth from his sin, and doeth that which is just 

15 and right: If the wicked restore the pledge, make good that 
which he hath robbed, walk in the statutes of life without com- 

16 mitting iniquity, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of 
all his sins which he hath committed shall be mentioned against 
him : he hath done that which is just and right ; he shall surely 

17 live. Yet the children of thy people say : The way of the Lord 

18 is not equal ; but as for them, their way is not equal. When the 
righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, 

19 he shall die thereby. And when the wicked turneth from his 
wickedness, and doeth that which is just and right, he shall live 

20 thereby. Yet ye say : The way of the Lord is not equal : I 
will judge you, every man according to his ways, O house of 
Israel ! 

21 And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the 

tenth month, on the fifth of the month, that one who had escaped 

been derived from the people, but from taken place (comp. Jcr.xxxix. 2; Hi. 5,6), 

God. To him he was responsible for it must be remembered that the person 

the fidelity with which he discharged who conveyed it, may not have been 

the duties of his prophetical office. specially delegated for that purpose, or 

21. Strange as it may at first sight he may have tarried at different places 

appear, that the intelligence relative to on the road, afraid to advance into the 

the capture of Jerusalem should not enemy s country. If, with eight codices, 

have reached the banks of the Chebar and the Syriac, we read " Tv? " i! ^?? 

till a year and a half after the event had in the eleventh, the communication would 

172 EZEKIEL. [CHAP. XXXIII. 21-29. 

22 from Jerusalem came to me, saying : The city is smitten. And 
the hand of Jehovah was upon me in the evening before he that 
had escaped came ; and he opened my mouth until he came to 
me in the morning ; yea, he opened my mouth, and I was no 
no longer dumb. 

23 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying : Son of man, the 

24 inhabitants of those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying : 
Abraham was one, and he inherited the land, but we are many, 

25 the land is given to us for an inheritance. AVherefore speak 
unto them : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Ye eat with the 
blood, and lift up your eyes to your idols, and shed blood ; and 

26 ye would inherit the land ! Ye stand upon your sword, ye 
commit abomination, and each defileth the wife of his neighbor ; 

27 yet ye would inherit the land! Thus shalt thou say unto them: 
Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : As I live, those who fall by the 
sword in the wastes, and those who are in the open field, I will 
give to the wild beast for food, and those who are in the strong- 

28 holds and in the caves shall die of pestilence. And I will make 
the land desolate and waste, and the pride of her strength shall 
cease, and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate without any 

29 one passing through. And they shall know that I am Jehovah, 
when I make the land desolate and waste for all the abominations 

have reached E/.ckiel in less than six inheritance in virtue of their relation 

months after the event happened. This to Abraham. They maintain that the 

change in the text, however, may have grant was not made for his sole use, but 

originated in a desire to lessen the dif- for that of his numerous posterity, and 

ficulty. At all events we may notice, that therefore they, as left behind in 

that we have no recorded prophecy of the country, had a right to the enjoyment 

Ezekiel dating at any period within the of it. 

year and a half intervening between the 25-29. On the ground of their wicked 

end of the siege and the period assigned character, Ezekiel utterly repudiates the 

in the common version for the announce- legitimacy of their claim. C 1 !!"!"?^ 3ZN , 

ment of it to the exiles. to cut with the L/ood, means to cat flesh 

22. The prophet is particular in speci- that had not been separated from the 
fying the time when he received the blood, which was contrary to the law 
following communication, thereby inti- (Levit. xix. 26). The preposition has 

mating that he was not indebted for it here the idea of accompaniment, as 

to the arrival of him who had escaped D^S"?? CX , the mother with the. children, 

from Jerusalem, but that it had been (Gen.xxxii. 12). Michaclis is of opinion 

made to him directly from heaven, that there is here a reference to the 

UVQri marks definitely the individual drinking of blood as an act of idolatrous 

who had brought the intelligence. worship, a custom very common in Asia. 

23, 24. The Israelites who had been The construction put upon the phrase 
left amid the desolations of the land, are by Spencer (Ue Lcgg. Ileb. ii. 11), 
introduced as laying claim to it as their making it to refer to the eating of the 

CHAP. XXXIII. 26-33.] 



30 they have committed. But thou, son of man, the children of thy 
people are talking of thee by the walls and in the porches of the 
houses, and speak one to another, and each to his brother, saying: 
Come now, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from 

31 Jehovah. Yea, they come to thee as the people come, and sit 
before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but will not 
do them ; for they make loves with their mouth, but their heart 

32 goeth after their covetousness. And, behold, thou art to them 
as a song of loves of one who has a sweet voice, and playeth 
well upon an instrument. But they hear thy words, but do 

33 them not. And when it cometh, behold it cometh, then shall 
they know that a prophet hath been among them. 

blood of animals slain in connection 
with magical rites, is entirely groundless. 

26. yy T?2 , to stand upon, is a phrase 
signifying here to depend upon the 
sword as a means of defence. It is 
declared in the following verse, that the 
very object of their confidence should 
become the instrument of their destruc 

30-33. Instead of seriously laying to 
heart the words of the Lord, delivered 
by his servant the prophet, the Jews on 
the Chebar made him the object of 
merriment and derision. While pre 
tending to be deeply affected by his 
messages, and encouraging each other 
to listen to them, their hearts were as 
completely as ever estranged from their 
covenant God. 2 "i2"l , signifies here to 

speak concerning, and not against, as it is 
rendered in the common version. ""^lU 
C^sas , a sony of loves, i.e. as Gesenius 
rightly interprets, an erotic song, pleas 
ing to the people. They professed te be 
highly delighted with the prophetic dis 
courses both as to matter and delivery, 
but it was all hypocrisy. S 1 ?^ , to know, 
ver. 33, means here to know experimen 
tally. Ezekiel finally assures the Jews, 
that the event would fully prove the 
legitimacy of his prophetic claims. His 
predictions should be realized in their 
woful experience. When the fugitive 
arrived the following morning with the 
intelligence that Jerusalem had been 
taken, there remained no hope of the 
escape of the captive Jews from tho 
power of the conqueror. 

174 E Z E K I E L . [CnAP. XXXIV. 1-10. 


This chapter contains a severe reprehension of the rulers of Israel, to whose selfish and 
cruel conduct the destruction of the state was ultimately to be traced, 1-10; a promise 
of divine interposition in be-half of the people, 11-19; the rejection and punishment of 
their oppressors, 20-2J; a renewal of the premise of the Messiah, and the happy security 
of the subjects of his reign, 23-31. 

1 AND the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying : Son of man, 

2 prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say 
unto them: For the shepherds, thus saith the Lord Jehovah. 
Woe to the shepherds of Israel, who are feeding themselves. 

3 Should not the shepherds feed the sheep ? Ye partake of the 
milk, and ye put on the wool ; ye kill the fallings ; ye feed not 

4 the sheep : The weak ye have not strengthened, neither have 
ye healed the sick, nor bound up that which was broken, and 
that which was driven away ye have not brought back, and that 
which was lost ye have not sought for ; but with harshness and 

5 with rigor ye have ruled them. And they have been scattered 
without a shepherd, and have become food for all the wild 

6 beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep have 
wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill ; 
yea, my sheep were scattered over the whole face of the earth, 
and no one sought them or searched them out. 

7 Wherefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of Jehovah. As I live, 

8 saith the Lord Jehovah, surely because my sheep have become 

2. !"l~"i , properly denotes a shpplirnL A\ A r\ 

i c i- v^JLr>, Eth. Ill/ V,n 1, Both read- 
one who guards and provides for Ins V*^ 

flock, and tropically a prince or /.///</. ings are appropriate; but the latter seems 

The language here is not, therefore, to preferable. LXX., rb 7aAa. Compare 

he interpreted of ecclesiastical rulers 1 Cor. ix. 7. 

or teachers, hut of the civil governors 4. Careful shepherds treat with ten- 

of the Jewish state, who, regardless of derncss the sickly and diseased of their 

the welfare and prosperity of their people, flock, hut these Jewish rulers treated 

only acted from respect to their own their subjects with neglect and cruelty, 

selfish interests, forming alliances with HISHtfl , a plural feminine participle in 

foreign powers, or provoking their ire, Niphnl, from nbn , to l>r> side, u-oumlcd. 

according as they were prompted by Comp. Isa. xvii. 11, and the synonyme 

ambitious or mercenary motives. Comp. nsi nn , in the text before us. 
2 Sam. v. 2 ; Isa. xliv. 28 ; Jer. ii. 8 ; iii. 5, G. These verses describe the miscr- 

15; x. 21 ; xxiii.1,2. Xcnoph. Cyropavd. able condition of the Jews under their 

viii. 2, 1.3. wicked kings previous to the captivity. 

3. ^r^^ > the fat , for which some would 7-10. However these kings might 
point 3~riri , the milk, as more suitable flatter themselves that their misdeeds 
to the connection. Compare the Arab, might pass with impunity, Jehovah here 

CHAP. XXXIV. 10-17.] E Z E K I E L . 175 

a prey and my sheep have become food to every wild beast of 

the field, without a shepherd, and my shepherds inquire not 

after my sheep, but the shepherds feed themselves, and feed not 

9 my sheep : Therefore hear. O ye shepherds, the word of Jeho- 

10 vah. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Behold, I am against the 
shepherds, and will require my sheep at their hand, and will 
make them to cease from feeding the sheep ; and the shepherds 
shall not feed themselves any more, for I will deliver my sheep 
from their mouth, and they shall not become food for them. 

11 For thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold I, even I, will both 

12 search for my sheep and seek them out, As a shepherd seeketh 
out his flock in the day when he is among his sheep that are 
scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and deliver them from 
all places whither they have been scattered in the cloudy and 

13 dark day. And will bring them out from the peoples, and 
gather them from the countries, and bring them unto their own 
land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel, by the brooks, 

14 and in all the inhabited places of the land. In a good pasture 
I will feed them, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall 
be their fold, there shall they lie down in a good fold, and shall 

15 feed in a fat pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed 
my sheep, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord 

16 Jehovah. I will search out that which is lost, and I will bring 
back that which is driven away, and will bind up that which is 
broken, and will strengthen that which is weak ; but the fat 
and the strong I will destroy, and will feed them with judgment. 

17 And as for you, O my sheep, thus saith the Lord Jehovah : 
Behold, I will judge between sheep and sheep, between the 

18 rams and the he-goats. Is it a small matter unto you, that ye 
have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread under your 
feet what remained of your pastures ? and that ye have drunk 
of the deep waters, but ye must trample what remains with 

declares that he would call them to breed. The same construction is adopted 

account for their wickedness. The by Ncwcomc ; but it does not suit the 

judgments denounced against them took connection so well as the textual reading, 

full effect when Jerusalem was captured. The clause is obviously adversative, con- 

1G. For T^wX , / will destroy, two of taining a declaration of the punishment 

DC Rossi s MSS., the LXX., Syr., Arab., to be inflicted on the harsh and selfish 

and Vulg., read "I ia i X , I will preserve, rulers of the Jews. 

which Luther has adopted in his German 17. f"l 4-!? " I<> -i~T-? between sheep and 

version, and Michaclis explains to mean, sleep, means between one class of citizens 

for the purpose of securing an excellent and another. BE w , to judje., here is to 


E Z E K I E L . 

[CiiAP. XXXIV. 18-31. 








your feet ? And my sheep eat that which ye have trodden with 
your feet, and have drunk that which ye have trodden with your 
feet. Wherefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah unto them : 
Behold I, even I. will judge between the fat sheep and the lean 
sheep. Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, 
and have pushed with your horns all the diseased, till you have 
scattered them abroad : Therefore I will save my sheep, and 
they shall no more be for a prey, and I will judge between 
sheep and sheep. And I will set one shepherd over them, and 
he shall feed them, my servant David : he shall feed them, and 
he shall be their shepherd. And I Jehovah will be their God, 
and my servant David shall be a prince among them, I Jehovah 
have spoken. And I will make for them a covenant of peace, 
and will cause the evil beast to cease from the laud, and they 
shall dwell in the wilderness securely, and sleep in the woods. 
And I will make them and the places around my hill a blessing; 
and will cause the shower to come down in its season ; there 


discriminate and punish accordin 

18, 19. Not content with consuming 
the best of the possessions of their 
subjects, the wicked rulers wantonly 
spoiled what might have been of use to 
them, and left them only the refuse. 

22. The salvation of the better part of 
the Jewish nation was primarily to be 
effected by the sifting process to which 
they were to be subjected in Babylon. 
At their restoration, they should be 
delivered at once from the power of the 
heathen, and from the tyrannical rule 
of their own kings. 

2.3, 24. T 17 " ^y PS , my servant 
David. This can be no other than the 
often-promised Messiah. Compare Ps. 
Ixxxix. 3 ; Isa. Iv. 3 ; Jer. xxx. 9 ; IIos. 
iii. 5. The idea adopted by Grotius, 
that Zerubbabel is intended, cannot be 
entertained for a moment. That prince 
was merely a stadtholdcr of the king of 
Persia, who did not even rule alone, but 
had Joshua the high-priest at his side. 
Neither can any of the later Jewish kings 
be meant, for they were not of the family 
of David. The shepherd here promised 
was to be 1HX FIST, one shepherd, sin 

gularly and distinguishing!} one ; the 
only one of his kind. Comp. the Arab. 

nnicus et incomparalilis ; one 

whose person and character should stand 
out in broad distinction from all others. 
There cannot be a doubt that our Lord 
had this prophecy in his eye, John x. 14 : 
/ am the good shepherd. X^\23 , in the 
language of E/ekiel, is equivalent to 
kiny. See chap xxxii. 29. The Messiah 
was Cp H , set tip, constituted king by 
divine appointment (Ps. ii. 6 ; Acts ii. 36); 
and bad the Jews received him, and 
submitted to his laws, their civil polity 
would have been preserved, and they 
would have enjoyed every necessary 
blessing under his gracious protection 
and care. Rejecting him, they forfeited 
all title to the promises here made to 

25-31. An amplification of the prom 
ises just made, under the images of 
outward prosperity, exemption from all 
annoyance from the heathen, and from 
wild beasts, and the rich enjoyment of 
every blessing in their own land, of 
which Mount Zion was the capital and 
centre. The Jews as thus restored are 

CHAP. XXXIV. 25-31.] 



27 shall be showers of blessing. And the tree of the field shall 
yield its fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase ; and they 
shall be secure in their land, and shall know that I am Jehovah, 
when I break the bands of their yoke, and deliver them from 

28 the hand of those who serve themselves of them. And they 
shall no more be a prey to the nations, neither shall the wild 
beast of the land devour them ; but they shall dwell securely, 

29 and none shall make them afraid. And I will raise up for 
them a plant of renown, and they shall no more be consumed 
with hunger in the land, neither shall they any more bear the 

30 reproach of the nations. And they shall know that I, Jehovah 
their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are 

31 my people, saith the Lord Jehovah. And ye my sheep, the 
sheep of my pasture, are men ; I am your God, saith the Lord 

represented as enjoying the blessings 
connected with and flowing from the 
sacred spot, but which were not to be 
confined to that locality, but were to be 
extended to other parts of the land. 
Comp. verses 13, 14. 

29. Ddb y -fQ , a plant of renown. This 
passage has generally been interpreted 
of the Messiah, and viewed as parallel 
to those in which he is promised under 
the image of a branch ; and to this in 
terpretation I adhere, notwithstanding 
all that Rosenmuller, Havernick, Ewald, 
and Fairbairn have alleged to the con 
trary. If the Jews themselves were to 
be the plant or plantation, there would 
be no propriety in the promise that it 
should be raised up for them. 

31. These words contain an explana 
tion of the figurative language employed 
in reference to the Jewish people and 
their rulers. It was not to be understood 
literally of shepherds and their flock, 
but of the people of Israel and those 
who exercised authority over them. 
Jehovah vindicates to himself his right 
of propriety in them, and renews the 
declaration of his gracious relation to 
them as their covenant God. The strong 
contrast asserted was designed to convey 
the idea, that, weak as the Israelites 
were in themselves, and utterly inade 
quate to the task of effecting their own 
deliverance, they were warranted to 
exercise strong faith in the Most High. 



[CHAP. XXXV. 2-G. 


This chapter contains an episode relative to the Edomites, naturally arising out of the 
preceding promises of blessings to the Israelites. The Idumeans had been the inveterate 
foes of the covenant people, and had exulted with fiendish malignity at the breaking 
lip of their polity by the Chaldeans. Jehovah had already declared by the prophet, 
chap. xxv. 12-11, that lie would execute vengeance upon the neighboring people. This 
threatening he here repeats at greater length, declaring that he would utterly destroy 
them, and thus disappoint them of their anticipated possession of the land of Israel. 

1 AND the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying : Son of man, set 

2 thy face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it, And say 

3 to it : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Behold. I am against thee, 

Mount Seir ! and I will stretch out my hand against thee, 

4 and I will make thee desolate and waste. I will make thy 
cities a desolation, and them shalt be desolate, and thou shalt 

o know that I am Jehovah. Because thou hast the old enmity, 
and didst deliver over the children of Israel to the power of the 
sword in the day of their calamity, in the time of the iniquity 

G of the end ; Therefore, as 1 live, saith the Lord Jehovah, surely 

1 will turn thee to blood, and blood shall pursue thee ; since 
7 thou didst not hate blood, therefore blood shall pursue thee. I 

will even make Mount Seir desolate and waste, and will cut off 

2. "^"^ > Sdr, the country of the 
Edomites ; according to the etymology, 
the Shft /f/y, from the rough and bristling 
character of its mountains and forests. 
The northern division of the country is 

etill called Si | w*iJ \ , Esshc-rat. The cap 
ital was ?^D , Scla, the Rock, Pctra, the 
remarkable ruins of which have been 
visited and described by several modern 
travellers. See especially Dr. Robinson 
in his Biblical Researches, vol. ii. pp. 

3. The stretching forth of the hand 
indicates, in such connection, threaten 
ing and punishment, ria i w!! iT^"2 JJ 
an emphatic paronomasia : lit. d<>sulation 
and desolateness ; i.e. completely desolate. 

4. The country was to become an 
arid waste. 

5. The enmity of the Edomites to the 
Jews dated from the earliest period of 
their history. They harassed and in 

jurcd them in every possible way. Ps. 
cxxxvii. 7 ; Amos i. 11 ; Obad. 10-16. 
Eor "l? 1*5 ^ e iniquity of the end, com 
pare chap. xxi. 30. 

6. There is singular force in the 
repetition of the term C"n , dam, blood, in 
this verse, taken in connection with the 
fact of its relation in sound to C"IX , 
Edom, the name of the country. It 
forms a paronomasia which it is impos 
sible to imitate in our language. In the 
second and fourth instances, the word 
is used in the sense of blood-shedding. 
Since the Edomites had not hated shed 
ding the blood of others, but on the 
contrary affected it, the guilt thereof 
should be avenged in the shedding of 
their own blood. The position of N? 
before M gives greater force to the 
sentence. The supposition of some that 
blood is here to be taken in the sense 
of consanguinity, is utterly to be rejected, 
as unwarranted by Hebrew usage. 

CHAP. XXXV. 7-15.] EZEKIEL. 179 

8 from it him that passeth, and him that returneth, And I will 
fill his mountains with his slain, thy high places and thy valleys; 
and as for all thy channels, the slain by the sword shall fall in 

9 them. I will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy cities 
shall not be inhabited ; and ye shall know that I am Jehovah. 

10 Because thou saidst: The two nations and the two countries 
shall be mine, and we shall possess them ; whereas Jehovah is 

11 there : Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, I will act 
according to thine anger and according to thine envy which 
thou hast used out of thy hatred against them ; and I will be 

12 known among them, when I have judged thee. And thou shalt 
know that I Jehovah have heard all thy contempt which thou 
hast uttered against the mountains of Israel, saying : They are 

13 laid waste, they are given to us for consumption. And ye have 
spoken proudly against me with your mouth, and multiplied 

14 your words against me: I have heard them. Thus saith the 
Lord Jehovah : When the whole earth rejoiceth, I will make 

15 thee desolate. As thou didst rejoice at the inheritance of the 
house of Israel because it was desolate, so will I do to thee : 
thou shalt be desolate, O Mount Seir, and the whole of Edom ; 
and they shall know that I am Jehovah. 

7-9. The country of the Edomitcs that Jehovah still claimed his propriety 

was to be depopulated and laid entirely in it. lie was still there. The Chaldeans 

waste, a prediction which has been could not remove him, as they did the 

literally fulfilled, as even infidel travellers idols of the nations, 

have borne testimony. See Savary s 11-15. They did not confine their 

Letters. contumely and hatred to the Jewish 

10. The Idumeans arc here abruptly people, but treated their covenant God 

introduced as exulting at the thought in the same manner. They represented 

of possessing the land of Canaan, which him as not having been sufficiently 

the Jews and Israelites had vacated, but powerful to protect the people whom he 

are suddenly checked by the declaration, had adopted as peculiarly his own. 

180 E Z E K I E L . [CHAP. XXXVI. 1-12. 


In this chapter Ezekiel is charged to personify the mountains of Israel, and to assure them 
that, notwithstanding the proud boastings of the Idumeans, they should be restored 
to their pristine prosperity, 1-15. The causes of their desolation are then specifically set 
forth, 16-20. And the rest of the chapter comprehends gracious promises of the restora 
tion of the captive people, and their participation in the blessings of the new covenant, 

1 AND them, son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and 

2 say : Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of Jehovah : Thus 
saith the Lord Jehovah : Because the enemy hath said concern 
ing you, Aha ! behold, the ancient heights are become our 

3 possession : Therefore prophesy and say : Thus saith the Lord 
Jehovah : Because, even because they have made you desolate, 
and have swallowed you up round about, that ye might become 
an inheritance to the residue of the nations, and ye are taken 
up on the lips of talkers, and are a reproach to the people. 

4 Therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear ye the word of the Lord 
Jehovah : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah to the mountains, and 
to the hills, to the streams, and to the valleys, and to the 
desolate wastes, and to the cities that are deserted, which had 
become a prey and a derision to the residue of the nations 

5 which are round about. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: 
Surely I have spoken in the fire of my jealousy against the 
residue of the nations, and against the whole of Edom, which 
have appointed my land to themselves for a possession with the 
joy of all their heart, with despite of soul, that its pasture might 

1,2. Mountains being the most con- reduplication : "2^2 "J"? , which is cquiv- 

spicuous part of a country, Canaan is alent to the same with the copula : 

thus introduced to view, the object of "i??-? 51 "j?? > bfcause, ei-en because, or yea, 

avaricious hope on the part of the bt-cause. Jehovah here singles out the 

Idumcans as expressed in the foregoing cupidity and haughty conduct of the 

chapter, and of happy anticipation on the enemies of his people as the objects of 

part of their lawful inheritors. These his righteous displeasure. They had 

are denominated D512 r"!:2 , ancient slandered the Jews because of their con- 

hcights, in reference to the remote an- neetion with Jehovah. rEC~bj % nb^tl 

tiquity from which their fertility had ! *\* ? , lit. to cause to qoiip upon the lip oj 

been celebrated. Sec Geu. xlix. 26; a tow/ne, i.e. as Gesenius explains, of the 

De.ut. xxxiii. 15. The term Israel is slanderer. 

here used irrespective of the division of 4-12. In retribution for all the evils 

the two kingdoms, and includes the to which they bad been subjected on the 

whole of the tribes that returned from part of the neighboring nations, espe- 

captivity. cially the Edomites, Jehovah promises 

3. There is much emphasis in the to restore the prosperity of his people to 

CHAP. XXXVI. 10-20.] E Z E K I E L . 

6 become a prey. Therefore prophesy concerning the land of 
Israel, and say to the mountains and to the hills, to the channels 
and to the valleys : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Behold, I 
have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye have 

7 borne the reproach of the nations. Therefore thus saith the 
Lord Jehovah : I have lifted up my hand ; assuredly the nations 

8 that are round about you, they shall bear their reproach. But 
as for you, O ye mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your 
branches, and bear your fruit to my people Israel ; for they are 

9 near to come. For, behold, I am for you, and will turn unto 

10 you, and ye shall be tilled and sown. And I will multiply men 
upon you, the whole house of Israel, all of it ; and the cities 

11 shall be inhabited, and the waste places shall be builded. And 
I will multiply upon you man and beast ; and they shall increase 
and be fruitful, and I will cause you to dwell according to your 
former circumstances, and will do you good more than at your 

12 beginnings ; and ye shall know that I am Jehovah. And I will 
cause men to walk upon you, even my people Israel ; and they 
shall possess thee, and thou shalt be to them for an inheritance, 

13 and thou shalt no more bereave them. Thus saith the Lord 
Jehovah : Because they say to you : Thou wast a devourer of 

14 men, and hast bereaved thy nations, Therefore thou shalt no more 
devour men, neither shalt thou bereave thy nations any more, 

15 saith the Lord Jehovah. And I will not cause thee to hear the 
reproach of the nations any more, neither shalt thou bear the 
insult of the nations any more, and thou shalt not bereave thy 

16 nations any more, saith the Lord Jehovah. And the word of 

17 Jehovah came unto me, saying : Son, of man, the house of Israel 
dwelt in their own land, but they denied it by their way, and 
by their doings : their way was before me as the uncleanness of 

a higher degree than had ever before arc more in accordance with the exigency 

been experienced. All the localities are of the passage. 

specified which could suggest the ideas 13-15. The heathen reproached the 

of convenience and enjoyment. Instead Israelites because of their rejection by 

of the country being any longer bereaved their God, whom they represented as 

of its inhabitants in punishment of their unable to deliver them. This reproach 

wickedness, it should again be filled should cease on the restoration of the 

with a flourishing population. covenant people. 

For ^S?Pl j upwards of twenty-eight 1G-20. The prophet here depicts the 

codices read with the Kcri, two ancient abominable character of his countrymen, 

editions, the LXX., Arab., Syr., andTarg. which was the cause of their removal. 

"C3. ; n . A similar transposition occurs Even among the heathen at first their 

in the following verse, both of which practices were so far from conciliating 

182 EZEKIEL. [CHAP. XXXVI. 21-27. 

18 a removed woman. And I poured out my fury upon them, 
because of the blood which they had shed in the land, and be- 

19 cause of their idolatries with which they had defiled it. And I 
scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed 
through the countries : according o their way, and according to 

20 their doings I judged them. And when they came to the 
nations whither they went, then they profaned my holy name 
by saying of them : These are the people of Jehovah, and are 

21 gone forth out of his land. But I had pity for my holy name 
which the house of Israel had defiled among the nations whither 

22 they had come. Therefore say unto the house of Israel : Thus 
saith the Lord Jehovah : Not for your sakes do I it, O house 
of Israel, but for my holy name, which ye have profaned among 

23 the nations whither ye are come. And I will sanctify my great 
name which hath been profaned among the nations, which ye 
have profaned in the midst of them ; and the nations shall know 
that I am Jehovah, saith the Lord Jehovah, when I am sancti- 

24 lied in you in their sight. Then I will take you from the 
nations, and collect you from all the countries, and will bring 

25 you into your own land. And I will sprinkle clean water upon 
you, and you shall be clean : from all your filthiness, and from 

26 all your idols will I cleanse you. And I will give you a new 
heart, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take 
away the heart of stone out of your flesh, and will give you a 

27 heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and make 
that ye shall walk in my statutes, and observe my judgments 

their good opinion, that they tended they should have wrought in them a 

rather to prejudice them. complete change of moral character. 

21-24. There was nothing in Israel Such a change God here promises to 
to induce Jehovah to interpose on their effect in their experience. In the fullest 
behalf. They richly merited the punish- sense the was fulfilled in the 
ment inflicted upon them. It was, there- blessed experience of all who were truly 
fore, to be impressed upon them that converted to God, and returned in a 
their restoration would be owing to his spiritually regenerated state to Canaan, 
own free grace, and his determination to just as it is still in that of all who are 
recover for his glorious character that the subjects of the saving influences of 
lustre which they had obscured in the the Holy Spirit, whether Jews or Gentiles, 
sight of the heathen. He is represented It would be too much, however, to sup- 
as moved with sympathy for the glory pose that the great bulk of the nation 
of his name. experienced any such total change ; as 

25-27. Compare on chap. xi. 18-20. the accounts which we have in their 

To qualify the Hebrews for the enjoy- subsequent history too abundantly show. 

ment of the blessings connected with Still, by the divine blessing on the 

their r -Alteration, it was necessary that means employed in Babylon for recover- 

CHAP. XXXVI. 27-36.] 



28 and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land which I gave 
unto your fathers ; and ye shall be my people, and I will be 

29 your God. And I will save you from all your uncleannesses, 
and will call for the corn, and increase it, and lay no famine 

30 upon you. And I will increase the fruit of the tree and the 
growth of the field, that ye may no more receive the reproach 

31 of famine among the heathen. And ye shall remember your 
wicked ways, and your treacherous doings which were not good, 
and ye shall be disgusted with yourselves because of your 

32 iniquities and because of your abominations. Not for your 
sakes do I this, saith the Lord Jehovah, be it known to you : 

33 blush and be ashamed of your ways, O house of Israel ! Thus 
saith the Lord Jehovah : In the day when I cleanse you from 
all your iniquities, I will also cause your cities to be inhabited, 

34 and your wastes to be rebuilt. And the land which had been 
desolate shall be cultivated, instead of its being desolate in the 

35 sight of all that passed by. And they shall say : This land 
which had been desolate is as the garden of Eden ; and the 
cities that had been desolate, and the waste places, and the 

ing them from idolatry, they appear to 
have been thoroughly cured of that evil, 
and returned, outwardly at least, to the 
pure worship of Jehovah, the God of 
their fathers. Instead of the hard and 
obstinate heart which had led them to 
reject all the divine counsels, and persist 
in a course of disobedience, they were 
to have imparted to them a heart easily 
impressible by the truth of God, a dis 
position to love him, and walk in his 
ways. This is ascribed to the inhabita 
tion and operations of the Holy Spirit, 
the author of all that is good in man. 
The whole is represented symbolically 
under the idea of purification an idea 
borrowed from the lustrations of the 
Mosaic law, by which the Jews were 
cleansed from any pollutions which they 
might have contracted, especially the 
ceremonies connected with the water of 
separation made of the ashes of a red 
heifer (Numb. xix. ). A remarkable ful 
filment of this prophecy in the out 
pouring of the Spirit, is recorded Ezra 
chapters ix. x. The people generally 

made a great mourning, confessed their 
sins, renewed their covenant with God, 
and set themselves in right earnest to 
observe the law. The sacred historian 
observes, that they kept the feast of 
tabernacles in such a manner as it had 
not been observed since the days of 
Joshua the son of Nun. The Jews sep 
arated themselves from all strangers, 
and reformed many abuses which had 
crept in among them. 

28-32. It is manifest from the whole 
tenor of the language employed by the 
prophet, that temporal and spiritual 
blessings arc beautifully intermixed with 
each other. The Israelites arc again 
reminded that it was not for any good 
thing in them meriting the divine favor, 
that such blessings were to be conferred 
upon them. Looking back on their 
rebellious conduct, they should discover 
nothing but what was calculated to fill 
them with shame and confusion of face. 
Merit, therefore, was entirely out of the 

33-36. So great should be the change 



[CHAP. XXXIIV. 1-6. 

36 ruins are fortified and inhabited. And the nations that are left 
around you shall know that I Jehovah build up the ruined 
places, and plant that which had been desolate : I Jehovah 

37 have said it, and will do it. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : 
Yet for this will I be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do 

38 it for them ; I will increase them with men as a flock. As the 
holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her festivals, so shall the 
waste cities be filled with flocks of men ; and they shall know 
that I am Jehovah. 

that would take place in their outward 
circumstances, that it could not fail to 
attract the attention of by-passers. The 
transformation could only be compared 
to such a change as must take place 
were the land to be converted into the 
garden of Eden. 

37. However absolute the gracious 
promises made to Israel, they were not 
to be realized independently of applica 
tion on their part for their fulfilment. 

Such application would show that it 
was fit and proper in God to accomplish 
his promises in their happy experience. 
38. Multitudinous as were the as 
semblages of animals for sacrifice at 
Jerusalem on occasion of the annual 
festivals, when all the males in the 
nation were required to appear before 
the Lord, they were only a fit emblem of 
the restored people in all parts of the 
country ; so great was to be their number. 


This chapter contains a parabolic vision in which was represented to the prophet the res 
toration of his hopelessly depressed countrymen, under the emblem of the resurrection 
of a multitude of dry bones which are suddenly invested with life, flesh, and beauty, 
1-10. This is followed by a brief exposition of the parable, 11-14; and then, to show 
that the restoration was to embrace the ten tribes, as well as the two tribes and a half, 
two united sticks are emblematically employed, the one representing the southern or 
Jewish kingdom, and the other the northern or Israelitish, 15-22. The chapter concludes 
with renewed promises of Messiah and his kingdom, 23-28. 

1 THE hand of Jehovah was xipon me, and he carried me forth in 

the Spirit of Jehovah, and set me down in the midst of the 

2 valley, and it was full of bones. And caused me to pass by 
them round about ; and, behold, they were very many, in the 

3 face of the valley ; and, behold, they were very dry. And he 
said unto me : Son of man, can these bones live ? and I said, 

1, 2. That the matters narrated in 
this chapter were transacted in vision, 
we arc here expressly told. Whether 
the "^^p3 i valley, specified was that in 
which Ezekiel had already had visions 
by the river Chebar, chaps, i. 1 ; iii. 22-24, 
we are not informed : but it most likely 

was, as he must in that case have had 
literally presented to his view his captive 
countrymen in their condition of utter 

3-G. To excite his attention and put 
his faith to the test, he is asked: Can 
these bones live ? The only answer ho 

CHAP. XXXVII. 3-11.] EZEKIEL. 185 

4 Lord Jehovah, thou knowest. And he said unto me, Proph 
esy over these bones, and say unto them : O ye dry bones, hear 

5 ye the word of Jehovah. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah unto 
these bones : Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and 

6 ye shall live. And I will put sinews upon you, and bring up 
flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and I will put breath 
into you, and ye shall live ; and ye shall know that I am Je- 

7 hovah. And I prophesied as I was commanded ; and there was 
a voice as I prophesied ; and, behold, a noise ! and the bones 

8 came together, bone to its bone. And I looked ; and, behold, 
there were sinews upon them ; and flesh came up, and skin 
covered them from above ; but there was no breath in them. 

9 Then he said unto me : Prophesy to the wind, prophesy, son of 
man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Come 
from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, 

10 that they may live. And I prophesied as I was commanded, 
and the spirit came into them, and they lived, and stood upon 

1 1 their feet, an exceeding great army. And he said unto me : 
Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel : behold, 
they are saying : Our bones are dried up, and our hope hath 

12 perished; we are altogether cut off. Therefore prophesy, and 
say unto them : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Behold, I will 
open your graves, and will cause you to come up from your 
graves, O my people ! and will bring you to the land of Israel. 

could give, was an appeal to divine reviviscence, the breath was commanded 

omniscience. Upon this, he received a to come from all quarters of the heavens, 

charge to prophesy to them, commanding The scene closes with a resurrection of 

them to listen to the word of Jehovah, the bones in the shape of living men. 

which was followed by assurances that However striking the analogy between 

God would take the process of restoration this scene and that which will be pre- 

into his own hand. sented to view in the general resurrection 

7-10. As Ezekicl fulfilled his com- at the last day, there is no reason to 

mission, a commotion took place among believe that the doctrine of the latter 

the bones. They cohered each to its was intended distinctly to be taught by 

fellow in regular order ; but all con- it, any more than that it was intended 

tinned in a state of inanimation, mere to adumbrate the quickening of the 

motionless skeletons. The next step in spiritually dead by means of the gospel. 

the process was that of covering them The passage may be used in illustration 

with sinews, skin, and flesh. Their of both, but further than this we are not 

hideous appearance now assumed one of warranted to go in our interpretation, 

beauty; but still they were without life. 11-14. We are here expressly informed 

On this the prophet was charged to what was the object of the allegory : 

invoke the wind to breathe into them ; viz. to set forth the restoration of the 

and, to convey the idea of complete Jewish state. The captives had given 

186 EZEKIEL. [CHAP. XXXVII. 21-29. 

13 And ye shall know that I am Jehovah, when I open your 
graves, and cause you to come up from your graves, O my 

14 people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and ye shall 
live, and I will place you in your own land ; and ye shall know 
that I Jehovah have spoken it, and will do it, saith Jehovah. 

15 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying: Moreover, thou 

16 son of man, take to thee one stick and write upon it: For 
Judah, and for the house of Israel, his companions : then take 
another stick, and write upon it : For Joseph, the stick of 

17 Ephraim, and all the house of Israel, his companions. And 
join them one to another, one stick for thee. and they shall 

18 become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy 
people shall speak unto thee, saying, wilt thou not show us 

19 what these are to thee? Say unto them: Thus saith the Lord 
Jehovah : Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph which is in 
the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his companions, 
and will put them with the house of Judah, and make them one 

20 stick, and they shall be one in my hand. And the sticks on 

21 which thou writest shall be in thy hand in their sight. And 
say unto them : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Behold, I will 
take the children of Israel from among the nations whither they 
have gone, and gather them from every side, and bring them 

22 into their own land. And 1 will make them one nation in the 
land upon the mountains of Israel ; and one king shall be king 
to them all : and they shall no more be two nations, neither 

23 shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more. And they 
shall no more defile themselves with their idols, and with their 
abominations, and with all their transgressions ; for I will save 
them out of all their dwellings in which they have sinned, and 
will cleanse them, and they shall be my people, and I will be 

up all for lost. They arc by this allegory ycparate kingdoms, Samaria being the 

taught that there is nothing impossible capital of the one, and Jerusalem that 

with God ; and that, therefore, how des- of the other. This division, which had 

peratc their circumstances in Chaldea been productive of many evils, especially 

might appear, there was hope for them that of the maintenance of idolatry, was 

in their covenant God. They were to not to exist on their return to their 

be restored to a state of political hide- own land. They were to be united in 

pendence in their own land. 133 , ver. one corporate body, the jealousy between 

11, rendered in the common version for them ceasing, and all joining in the 

our jxtrts, is the reflexive dative, and is worship of the true God. Compare my 

equivalent to so far as we are concerned. notes on Jeremiah xxxi. Thij happy 

15-22. From the time of Jeroboam the state of things Ezckicl was commanded 

Hebrew people had been divided into two to exhibit by a striking symbolical action, 

CHAP. XXXVII. 22-28.] 



24 their God. And my servant David shall be king over them, 
and there shall be one shepherd to them all ; and they shall 
walk in my judgments, and keep my statutes, and do them. 

25 And they shall dwell in the land which I gave to my servant 
Jacob, in which your fathers dwelt: they shall even dwell in it, 
they and their children, and their children s children forever ; 

26 and David my servant shall be a prince to them forever. And 
I will make for them a covenant of peace ; an everlasting 
covenant shall be to them : and I will place them, and increase 

27 them, and set my sanctuary in the midst of them forever. And 
my tabernacle shall be over them, and I will be their God, and 

28 they shall be my people. And they shall know that I am 
Jehovah, the Sanctifier of Israel, when my sanctuary is in the 
midst of them forever. 

highly calculated to excite the curiosity 
of his countrymen. This prophecy was 
fulfilled in tlic reign of Cyrus ; for not 
only did the Jews return and take pos 
session of the southern parts of the 
country, but the Israelites also were 
restored to their ancient possessions. 

23-25. In this state of restored har 
mony, and purification from all their 
idolatries and other sins of which they 
had been guilty before the captivity, 
they should live in conformity to the 
theocratic laws under the rule of Messiah. 
To this rule he was predestined, and if 
they failed to enjoy as a people the 
benefits of his government in the bless 
ings of the new covenant, it was because 
they rejected his great salvation. The 
reign here and elsewhere predicted was 
not to be earthly and temporal, but 
spiritual, on the throne of David in the 
spiritual world. Compare 2 Sam. vii. 1 G ; 

Ps. ex. 1 ; Acts iii. 21 (where &xp i 1S t 
be rendered not until, but during) v. 31 ; 

John xviii. 36. Crpr lTJ ia , their dwell 
ings, ver. 23, should, according to some, 
be read CfprQVJT3 , their defections ; but 
it is without any authority from Hebrew 
MSS. One of De Rossi s codiecs has 
cn^ i S , their sins. 

26-28. The covenant promised to be 
made with recovered Israel was the new 
and better dispensation (Isa. Iv. 3; Jcr. 
xxxi. 31-34), established in the media 
tion of Messiah (Ileb. viii. 7-13). If 
they had complied with the conditions 
of this covenant, they should have re 
mained in their land, and not been again 
dispersed among the nations. Their 
temple should have no more been de 
stroyed, but should have been appro 
priated for the purposes of Christian 


There cannot, I think, be a doubt that the whole subject of these chapters is to be 
viewed as an allegory. Under names of persons and countries, then but little 
known, or known only on account of their barbarous and all-conquering propen 
sities, Antiochns Kpiphancs and his armies are represented as invading Palestine, 
and spreading universal terror and devastation through the country. 

183 EZEKIEL. [CiiAP. XXXVIII. 2, 3. 

The materials for the history of that cruel* persecutor are indeed scanty, the writings 
which treat of his period having been all lost except what Porphyry has intro 
duced in his fifteenth book against the Christians, of which fragments have been 
preserved by Jerome in his Commentary on Daniel. This much, however, may 
be gathered from these, from Josephus, and from the First Book of Maccabees, 
that the persecutions which Antiochus carried on in Palestine were the most 
severe of any that the inhabitants experienced during the period which intervened 
between the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, and that effected by the 

Receiving information that the Jews were rejoicing at the report of his supposed 
death in Egypt, Antiochus returned hastily to Palestine, took Jerusalem by 
storm, plundered the city, slew eighty thousand persons, men, women, and chil 
dren, took forty thousand prisoners, and sold as many into slavery. And, as if 
this were not enough, he went, under the guidance of the wicked high priest 
Menelaus, into the temple, profaned it by uttering blasphemous language, and 
removed thence all the gold he could lay his hand on, amounting to eighteen 
hundred talents, besides quantities of silver, all of which he carried away. To 
crown this wickedness, he sacrificed swine upon the altar of Jehovah, boiled 
pieces of the flesh, and sprinkled the whole temple with the broth. 

Two years afterwards, being disappointed in his designs against Egypt, and return 
ing from that country in disgrace, he sent Apollonius his chief collector of 
tribute with a division of twenty-two thousand men, with orders to cut down all 
the men whom he met with, and to make slaves of the women and children. The 
consequoicc was that the streets of Jerusalem flowed with blood, the houses 
were plundered and demolished, the city walls were thrown down, and the public 
services of religion ceased. In place of the altar of Jehovah, he caused an altar 
to be raised to be used in sacrificing to Jupiter Olympius. Every attempt to 
observe the law of Moses was made a capital offence; and the most cruel pun 
ishments were inflicted on such of the inhabitants as remained, and refused to 
comply with the impious commands of the infuriated monarch. In fact the 
Jews had never before been subject to such furious persecution. Compare Dan. 
viii. 10-26; xi. 21-45; xii. 1; and see Jahn s Hebrew Commonwealth, xciv., xcv. 

This allegorical description of the apparently desperate case of the Jews is the pro 
totype which John had in his eye when predicting the overthrow of the final 
antichristian confederacy, Rev. xx. 7-9. 


To sot forth a formidable attack that would be made upon the Jews after their re-settlement 
in Canaan, the prophet introduces an assemblage of savage people under a distinguish- 
ingly formidable leader, who should leave no method untried by which he might hope 
to effect their utter extermination, 1-13. Hereupon it is predicted, that by a signal 
interposition of Divine Providence, this enemy should be completely overthrown; that 
a long time should be occupied in burying the dead bodies of his army; and that their 
weapons should long be used as fuel by the Jews, 14-23 and chapter xxxix. 

1 AND the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying : Son of man, set 

2 thy face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, 

2,3. The only other parts of Scripture xxxii. 26; Rev. xx. 8. The first of 
in which these names occur are Gen. x. 2; these passages is important to our present 
1 Chron. i. 5 ; v. 4 ; Ezek. xxvii. 13 ; inquiry, as pointing us to the direction 

CHAP. XXXVIII. 2, 3.] 



Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him ; and say : Thus 
saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, 

in which to look for the people and 
countries here specified. It is generally 
admitted that the descendants of Japhct 
are to be sought for in the west of 
Europe and the north of Asia. Tracing 
them back to their original abodes, we 
discover them about the Black and 
Caspian Seas, the regions of theCaucasus, 
part of Armenia, Asia Minor, Parthia, 
Persia, and the countries beyond. They 
were generally known to the Greeks 
under the name of Scythians, with which 
was associated the idea of whatever was 
rude, uncivilized, and barbarous ; just 
as, in after times, the same idea was 
attached to the Tatars and other northern 
nations. Owing to their inroads into 
Southern Asia, they were partially known 
by the reports of their numbers and 
ferocity, and the devastations which 
they spread wherever they came. 

Cog, the first name here occurring, is 
said to be 5 i552n y")X , of the land of 
Magog, thereby intimating, not that the 
king belonged to it as his origin, but 
that it was the country over which he 
reigned, and most probably that this 
was the common title of the kings of 
the country, just as Pharaoh was of 
those of Egypt. There has been much 
speculation relative to the etymology of 
this name, and few have bestowed more 
pains upon it than the learned Bochart, 
in his Phaleg. lib. i. cap. ii. p. 13 ; lib. 
iii. cap. xiii. p. 212, seqq. : to which 
add Michaelis, Supplementa ad Lexx. 
Hebraica, Nos. 341, 1352. The only 
probable conclusion, in which most 
modern interpreters seem inclined to 
rest, is, that the term is merely a con 

rious a position when he would derive the 
word Caucasus from "jOnnS , Gocj-hasan, 
the fortress of Got). That the "O in Magog 
is local, and denotes the country, is 
allowed on all sides. The Asiatic nations, 
which have retained the Hebrew name, 
designate thereby the regions of the 
remote north, which were for the most 
part immersed in Cimmerian darkness. 
Jerome, in his Commentary on Ezekiel, 
says : Magog esse gentes Scythicas, 
immanes et innumcrabiles, qui trans 
Caucasum montem et Macotidcm palu- 
dcm ct prope Caspium mare ad Indiana 
usque tcndantur. For Gog and Magog, 
the Arabs employ the kindred terms 
, YajujwaMajuj, 

traction of 

, Chakan, a name 

generally given by the northern Asiatics 
to their king, and retained by the Turks 
as one of the titles of the Grand Sultan 
to this day. It may be remarked, how 
ever, that Bochart advances too preca 


just as a similar form ..wA^-L/o* 

ckin wa matchin, is used of China. 

It has been matter of dispute whether 
113X1 , Rosh is to be considered as an 
appellative or as a proper name. The 
LXX. take the latter view, and render, 
Tuy, &pxovra Pa>s, Wltffox, xa.1 OojSeA., 
Gog, prince of Ros, Mcsoch, and Thobcl. 
Jerome, indeed, not finding any such 
name in Genesis or elsewhere in Scrip 
ture, rashly concluded that it must 
necessarily be an appellative, not advert 
ing to the fact, that there are other 
names of nations mentioned by Ezekiel 
for which no authority can be found 
either in Moses or any other Old Testa 
ment writer. 

That the Tauri inhabiting the Crimea 
were a Scythian people known by the 
name of Ros, is remarked by the Greek 
Grammarian, John Tzctzes, Chiliad ii. 
Hist. 393 ; and the same name has been 
traced by Ibn Fozzlan, an Arabian writer 
of the same period, to the Russians as 
dwcllingon the river Volga. Constantin. 
Porphyr., in his work De Administr. 
fmper. p. ii. c. 13, refers to them in like 
manner : Efr Xa^dpoi, tt-re TovpKot, efre 
KO! Peas, i) fTtpoif TO tQvos ruv Boptlwv 




4 prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. And I will cause thee to 
turn back, and put hooks in thy jaws, and cause thee to go out, 
thee and all thy host, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed 
in perfection, a great company with shield and buckler, all of 

5 them handling swords. Persia, Cush, and Put with them, all 

6 of them with buckler and helmet. Gomer and all his armies ; 
the house of Togarmah from the furthest north, and all his 

7 armies ; many people with thee. Be fully prepared, thou and 
all thy company that are collected to thee, and be to them for a 

Kal SKvdiKui : and Bochart places thorn 
in the vicinity of the river Araxcs, in 
which word, as pronounced liy the 
Arabians, he finds the etymology of the 

That 2 irn ~r!^ > Mfsficck and Thubal, 
whatever affinity in sound there may be 
between the words, have any reference 
to Moscory and Tobolsk, is contested 
with much show of reason by Miehaelis, 
who observes that the name of the 
Russians is not of any antiquity in 
history witli application to the present 
occupants of the empire ; the ancient 
name of that people being S/ari or 
Wend*. That of Muscovites is still more 
recent, and was given to the people 
because the Czars chose Moscow as their 
place of residence. That city was first 
built in the twelfth century, and takes 
its name from the river Moscow on 
which it lies. Tobolsk is of still more 
recent date. Nothing would therefore 
be more precarious than to found any 
theory on the present prophecy of Ezekiel 
relative to some future attack of the 
Russians upon the Jews in Palestine. 

The opinion is now generally acqui 
esced in, that, by Meshech and Tubal, 
we are to understand the Moschi and 
Tibarcni, who occupied regions about 
the Caucasus in the neighborhood of 
the Araxes. 

4, 5. The simple meaning of TprpiSJ 
is, / trill cause thee. to turn Ixicl-, and 
would seem to be here used simply in 
reference to inducing the power spoken 
of to change his position, and return to 
some point which he had left. Compare 

1 Kings xix. 28. It is not expressive 
of any judgment to be inflicted upon 
him, but simply of the influence exerted 
in the providence of God in order to 
prompt him to action. According to 
our hypothesis it will describe the means 
employed to induce Antiochus to return 
from Egypt to Palestine. The putting 
a hook in his jaws conveys the idea that 
it was as easy for God to control the 
movements of that monarch, as it is 
for fishermen to curb the impetuosity of 
a marine animal. The description of 
his army which follows shows that it 
would be of the most formidable char 
acter. It was to consist of troops col 
lected from the most distant parts, and 
accoutred in the most complete manner. 
Auxiliaries from all quarters should 
swell its ranks. 

G. "1^8 > the ancestor of the Cimme 
rians or Celts who originally settled in 
the Crimea, whence they spread them 
selves across the regions to the north 
and east of the Taurian Chersonesus, 
and crossing over the Bosphorus took 
possession of Phrygia and Galatia. 
?TE"i5Trr" 2 , the house, i.e. the descend 
ants of Toijnrmah (Gen. x. .3). These 
were the Armenians of the Caucasus 
south of Iberia ; sec on chap, xxvii. 14. 
They arc here mentioned along with the 
Cimmerians because they were only 
separated from them by the Euxinc. 

7. rn "j2n , a variety of form for the 
sake of emphasis, be prepared and prepare, 
i.e. be fully prepared. The commander 
is ironically charged to take special care 
of his troops, that they might be fit 


E Z E K I E L . 


8 guard. After many days them wilt make thy attack, in the last 
of the years thou wilt enter the land that is brought back from 
the sword, collected from many people, on the mountains of 
Israel which had been continually desolate ; which hath been 
brought out from the peoples, and dwell all of them securely. 

9 And thou wilt go up ; as a storm thou wilt come ; as a cloud 
to cover the land thou shalt be, thou and all thy armies, and 

10 many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : It 
shall also come to pass in that day, that things shall come into 

11 thy mind, and thou wilt devise a wicked device : And thou wilt 
say : I will go up to the land of villages, I will invade those 
who are at ease, that dwell securely, all of them dwelling 

12 without walls, and to whom are neither bars nor doors : To 
take spoil and to seize booty, to turn thy hand against the 
inhabited wastes, and against a people gathered from the na 
tions, acquiring cattle and substance, dwelling in the height of 

for action, and disposable in whatever 
quarters he might sec fit to employ 

8. ""lBn , thou shall make thy attack. 
Various interpretations have been given 
of this word ; but all that arc founded 
on the strictly passive signification of 
the verb have failed to give satisfaction. 
I consider it to be taken in a reflexive 
sense, referring the action back to the 
agent, and thereby rendering him more 

The period of the attack is first speci 
fied very indefinitely : B^in D" 1 ?-*^ , after 
many days, which may be either longer 
or shorter, according to circumstances. 
Thus in IIos. iii. 4, the phrase denotes 
the period of upwards of eighteen cen 
turies that have elapsed since the present 
dispersion of the Jews ; but in 1 Kings 
ii. 38, 39, it is limited to a period not 
exceeding three years. The specification 
in our prophet, however, is rendered 
more definite by the following statement 
that the attack was to be made r^HXa 
O^St fl , in the last of the years, which, in 
prophetic designations of time, denotes 
that which immediately preceded the 
coming of the Messiah. This again is 
equivalent to tra*n r^^nxa , the last 

of the days, vcr. 16. A period of upwards 
of three hundred years elapsed after the 
return of the Jews to their own land, 
during which they enjoyed uninterrupted 
tranquillity, before they were persecuted 
by Antiochus ; which is quite sufficient 
to meet the claims of the prophecy. 
The mountains of Israel are said to 
have been T^H > nlways,\.e. continuously 
waste, in reference to the protracted 
period of the captivity, during which 
they had been stripped of their inhabi 

9. The invasion by Gog and his armies 
is compared to a storm, to express the 
impetuosity, noise, and confusion by 
which it should be marked. The im 
mense number of his troops is aptly 
compared to a cloud sweeping over the 
land, and involving it in darkness a 
figure of common occurrence in ancient 
writers. See the Iliad, xvi. 243. 

11. rrinB y- X , land of villages, i.e. 
mere villages. Our translators have 
added unwulli-d, but quite unnecessarily, 
since this idea is sufficiently expressed 
afterwards in the verse. The word ^J7? 
properly signifies open country, in contra 
distinction to towns and cities. Com 
pare Esther ix. 19. The unsuspecting 


E Z E K I E L . 

[CHAP. XXXVIII. 11-17. 

13 the land. Sheba and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, 
and all her young lions, shall say to thee : Art thou come to 
take spoil ? hast thou collected an assembly to seize booty ? to 
carry away silver and gold ? to take cattle and substance ? to 

14 gain much spoil? Therefore prophesy, son of man, and say 
unto Go : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Shalt thou not know 


15 it in the day when my people Israel dwell securely ? And 
thou wilt come from thy place, from the most distant north, 
thou and many people with thee ; riders on horses, all of them, 

16 a great company and a great army. And thou wilt come up 
against my people Israel, as a cloud to cover the land ; in the 
last of the days it shall be ; and I will bring thee against my 
land that the nations may know me, when I am sanctified in 

17 thee, O Gog, in their sight. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: 
Art thou he of w r hich I spake in ancient days by the hand of 
my servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those 

18 days, years ago, to bring thee against them ? And it shall 
be in that day, in the day of the coming of Gog against the 
land of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah, my fury shall come up 

confidence of the restored Hebrews is 
here graphically described. What is 
stated may have literally been the case, 
or the language may be expressive of 
the contempt with which Antiochus 
regarded them, conceiving that they 
would fall an easy prey into his hands. 

12. A forcible description of the in 
satiable rapacity of the invader. The 
Hebrews are represented as dwelling in 
the most elevated parts of the country. 
T^H -isisa , the, keiijJd of the land. The 
idea of navel, which signification ^S^Ii 
has in the Talmud, and which the 
Vulgate expresses by umbilicus, is not 
biblical, but is derived from the Greeks, 
who regarded Parnassus as the highest 
part of their country o^aXbs TTJJ yrjs. 
The same word occurs Judges ix. 37, 
where it is used in the same acceptation, 
and not in that of middle, as rendered in 
the common version. Ewald, however, 
renders JVafo?/, and Ilitzig attempts to 
defend it. HiaWS ri"tt, Kosenmiillcr 
renders : ruinosa prius ft nunc reccdijicata. 

13. The object of the address here 
made to the invader seems to have been 

to enter into negotiations with him for 
the disposal of the prey. Jahn states 
that more than one thousand merchants 
joined the army, having come for the pur 
pose of purchasing such Jews as might 
be taken prisoners, p. 272. C ^BS , 
youny lions, i.e. taking the term as used 
tropically, robust princes or warriors. 
Compare xix. 3 ; xxxii. 2. 

14-1G. The object of Jehovah in 
bringing Gog into Palestine was signally 
to illustrate his own divine power in his 
destruction. It should be made manifest 
to the nations that there was still a God 
in Israel able to interpose and save. 
For C^;*? r">*nx see on verse 8. 

17. Newcomc supposes reference to 
be made here to unrecorded prophecies, 
but there appears no good ground for 
such supposition. Though no prophecy 
may be found in which Gog is specified 
by name, yet there are many which 
depict signal enemies of the church of 
God who should be subdued and de 
stroyed. See Numb. xxiv. 17-19; Ps. 
Ixxii. 4 ; Ixxxix. 23 ; Isa. xiv. 29-32 ; 
lix. 19 ; Joel ii. 2. B" 1 ?^ years, is to be 

CHAP. XXXVIII. 17-23.] 



19 into my nose. And in my jealousy, in the fire of my indigna 
tion, I speak ; Surely in that day there shall be a great quaking 

20 in the land of Israel. And the fishes of the sea, and the fowls 
of heaven, and the beast of the field, and every creeping thing 
that creepeth upon the ground, and all men that are upon the 
face of the earth, shall tremble at my presence ; and the moun 
tains shall be thrown down, and the precipices shall fall, and all 

21 walls shall fall to the ground. And I will call against him to 
all my mountains a sword, saith the Lord Jehovah ; the sword 

22 of each man shall be against his brother. And I will punish 
him with pestilence and with blood, and I will rain upon him 
and upon his armies, and upon the many people that are with 
him, heavy overflowing showers, and great hailstones, fire and 

23 brimstone. And I will magnify myself and sanctify myself, 
and become known in the sight of many nations, and they shall 
know that I am Jehovah. 

connected with D^xaSri , who prophesied 
years ago. 

18-20. Earthquakes, which have been 
of frequent occurrence in Palestine, are 
employed by the prophets as symbols of 
political revolutions, in which everything 
is shaken and convulsed. Compare Rev. 
xvi. 18. Such should be the tremendous 
force of the concussion which should 
accompany the invasion of Gog, that 
universal nature is represented as affected 
by it. By a strong anthropopathy, 
Jehovah declares his holy displeasure 
with the expedition. 

20. ri1jn"rarl , the precipices or steep 
terraces which were raised on the sides 
of the mountains, to prevent the earth 
from being washed down by the rains, 
and on which the vines were cultivated. 
The root is preserved in the Arabic 
_ ? to ascend by steps. 

21-23. The slaughter of the army of 
Gog should be immense. His military 
should be so desperate, that they should 
cut right and left, irrespective of friend 
or foe. Fairbairn is mistaken in sup 
posing that the language is not expressive 
of mutual slaughter. His interpretation, 
that God would meet sword with sword 
in the hand of his people, however 
ingenious, is not borne out by Hebrew 
usage; whereas l^rTO? I-J^X is a common 
phrase for one another. Jehovah is rep 
resented as overthrowing the enemy by 
the most fearful combination of the 
elements, ttraabx , hail, stones of ice. 
Arab. (ji>xi! . Compare Rev. xvi. 
21. The language being figurative, 
it is not so evident as Rosenmiiller 
would have it (clarissime patet) that 
the reference cannot be to 


194 EZEKIEL. [CHAP. XXXIX. 2-7. 


A continuation of the prophecy against Gog. The awful judgments of God are further 
denounced against the furious enemy of his people, 1-7. So complete would be his 
overthrow, that the weapons left in the tield should long supply the Israelites with fuel, 
8-10; and a long period should be required for burying the dead bodies of the slain, 
11-10. An invitation is then given to the birds of prey and the wild beasts to come and 
partake of the sacrificial feast prepared for them by the slaughter of the enemy, 17-22. 
The chapter concludes with promises of future good to chastised and repentant Israel, 

1 AND thou, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say : Thus 

saith the Lord Jehovah : Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, 

2 prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal : And will turn thee back, 
and lead thee about, and cause thee to come up from the farthest 

3 north, and bring thee against the mountains of Israel. And I 
will smite thy bow from thy left hand, and make thine arrows 

4 to fall out of thy right hand. Upon the mountains of Israel 
thou shalt fall, thou and all thy armies, and the people that are 
with thee ; I will give thee for food to the bird of prey of 

5 every wing, and to the beast of the field. Thou shalt fall in 
the open field, for I have spoken it, saith the Lord Jehovah. 

6 And I will send fire on Magog, and on those dwelling securely 

7 in the isles, and they shall know that I am Jehovah. And I 
will make my holy name known in the midst of my people 
Israel ; and I will profane my holy name no more ; and the 
nations shall know that I Jehovah am the Holy One of Israel. 

aaJ 1 ]. Sceonchap.xxxviii.4. L*/, sa,institjatur; Turkish 

a OTTO! \ty. Whatever ap- sasa t, asinum vocare ad potnm. The dec- 

parent connection there may at first laration bears that Jehovah would induce 

sight nppcar to be between this verb, Gog to leave his position, and undertake 

and the numeral CO , sir, the signitica- his expedition against Palestine. 

tion thus suggested affords nothing suit- 3. r^ ip , thy bow. The Scythians 

able to the context. I do not scruple, wcrc renowned as archers. 

therefore, to adopt the derivation pro- 4 j 5. g ee on verses 17-20. 

posed by Ludovic dc Dieu, from the c. By the inhabitants D^N , of the isles, 

Ethiopic fioX^O) , to go about, with nro mt!Ult those dwelling in Greece and 

the coasts of the Euxinc, who took part 

the Picl signification, to cause to wander, with Gog, and helped to swell his armies. 

This derivation is approved by Gcsenius, They were to be involved in intestine 

Winer, and Kosenmuller, and is sup- wars, and thus destroyed. War is fre- 

ported by the LXX. KaOo^y^irw at, or quently compared to fire, on account of 

as the Complutensian reading has it its all-devouring action. 

Kard^ia fff, and the Targum ~i"^?X > 7. When the Jews obtained the mas- 

errare te faciam. Compare the Arabic tery over their ferocious and formidable 

CHAP. XXXIX. 7-14.] 



8 Behold, it cometh, and taketh place, saith the Lord Jehovah : it 

9 is the day of which I have spoken. Then shall the inhabitants 
of the cities of Israel go forth, and burn, and set on fire the 
weapons, both the buckler and the helmet, with the bows and 
arrows, the hand-spear and the lance ; and make fire with them 

10 seven years. And they shall not take wood from the field, nor 
hew it from the forests ; for they shall kindle fire with the 
weapons ; and they shall spoil those who spoiled them, and 
plunder those who plundered them, saitli the Lord Jehovah. 

11 And it shall come to pass in that day I will give to Gog a burying- 

place there in Israel, the valley of the passengers, on the east 
of the sea ; and it shall stop the passengers ; and there shall they 
bury Gog, and all his multitude, and shall call it : THE VALLEY 

12 OF THE MULTITUDE OF GOG. And the house of Israel shall bury 

13 them, in order to purify the country, seven months. And all 
the people of the land shall bury them, and it shall be to them 
for a name in the day when I shall be glorified, saith the Lord 

enemy, it would be manifest to the world 
that Jehovah, whose people they were, 
was a God able to deliver them and 
alone entitled to worship and obedience. 
When God is said to pollute his name, 
the meaning is that he permits it to be 

8. nr^fijll f!SO fiSrt is very expres 
sive, denoting the absolute certainty of 
the event. 

9, 10. On the discomfiture of the 
Gogites, they would leave their armor 
on the field of battle, which the Hebrews 
observing, would make a bonfire of it, 
and have such a quantity left, that they 
would be under no necessity for a long 
time to repair to the woods for fuel. 
Seven years is a hyperbolical term, de 
rived from the intensive significancy 
of the number in Hebrew usage, and 
designed to express a very long time. 
Scholz quotes here from Mariana, a 
Spanish historian, who states that after 
the Spaniards had gained a victory over 
the Saracens A.D. 1212, they found such 
a quantity of arms that they served 
them four years for fuel. 

11. ^Op DEJ-Dipa, a place there of 
burial, by hypallage for OO 13J3 

a place of burial there, in order to give 
prominence to the locality. Instead of 
obtaining Palestine as a conquest, as 
Gog had expected, all that he should 
find would be a grave. The place is 
denominated D^*i3i;n "<3, the valley oj 
the passengers, in reference to its position 
on the east side of the Dead Sea, along 
which lay the high road for traffic to 
Petra and Eziongeber. It would thus 
be notoriously public, and, arresting 
travellers in their progress, would compel 
them to reflect on the signal judgment 
inflicted on the enemies of the covenant 
people, rtt&h refers to the stopping 
of the passengers by the multitude of 
graves ; and not of their noses by the 
stench, as has erroneously been supposed. 

Compare the Arabic iywJ"- > impedire 

alirjitem ab aliqita re. 

The proximity of the place to the 
desolated cities of the plain would 
remind men of the vengeance taken on 
the flagitious sinners who had perished 
there. The appropriate name of the 
valley should be SIS "pOtt SOS , the valley 
oftlte multitude of Gog. 

12-14. Seven months are again used 



[CHAP. XXXIX. 14-18. 

14 Jehovah. And they shall select men of continuance who shall 
go through the land, burying, with those who pass through, 
them that remain upon the face of the land, to purify it : at the 

15 end of seven months they shall search. And the passengers 
passing through the land, when one seeth the bone of a man, he 
shall set up a sign beside it, until those who are burying bury it 

16 in the valley of the multitude of Gog. And the name of the 

17 city shall be HAMOXAII ; and they shall purify the land. And 
thou, son of man, thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Say unto birds 
of every wing, and to every beast of the field : Assemble your 
selves and come, gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice 
which I sacrifice for you, a great sacrifice upon the mountains 

18 of Israel, and eat flesh, and drink blood. Ye shall eat the flesh 
of heroes, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of 
rams, of lambs, and of he-goats, of bullocks, all of them fallings 

hyperbolically for a long time, to denote 
that the number of dead bodies would 
be such that a considerable length of 
time would be required for burying 
them. Not only would the atmosphere 
be poll u tod with the stench, but the 
land was to be regarded as morally 
defiled, so that the most prompt and 
effective measures were adopted to have 
the very skeletons removed. T^Pl "^l^* 
men of continuance : i.e. men whose con 
stant employment it should be to collect 
and bury whatever remains they might 
find. The meaning of verse 14, at which 
some interpreters have greatly stumbled, 
seems to be simply this, that those who 
were uninterruptedly occupied with the 
removal of the dead corpses were to be 
assisted by such as were occasionally 
passing through the country, that by 
their united exertions a speedy riddance 
might be effected. All the inhabitants 
were to combine their efforts for this 
object. The computation of Fairbairn, 
that a million of men would be daily 
employed, exclusive of the Sabbaths, 
and that if each buried but two a day, 
we should have an aggregate of three 
hundred and sixty million corpses, is 
merely conjured up as a bugbear to 
frighten the reader out of all disposition 
to admit the literal interpretation. 

15. Should any one accidentally dis 
cover a bone, he was not to touch it, 
lest he should be defiled, but was to set 
a mark by it, that it might be removed 
by the proper person appointed for the 

16. Some city in the neighborhood 
was to receive the name H31BH "HS> , the 
ci/y of Hamonah, i.e. of the multitude, 
to perpetuate the memory of the signal 
defeat which the enemy had sustained. 

17-22. Not satisfied with having 
described the burial of the Gogitcs, the 
prophet takes a view of them as still 
lying on the battle-field, and invites the 
birds of prey and the wild beasts to 
come to a sacrificial repast on their dead 
bodies. To enhance the description, the 
guests are represented as being filled 
not only with the flesh of the victims in 
general, but with that of the horses and 
the charioteers. 2?"^ , a rider or char 
ioteer. Sec on Isa. xxi. 7, 9. The am 
plification which follows is quite in the 
style of Ezckicl. The entire passage is 
strikingly parallel with Rev. xix. 17-19. 
Compare Isa. xviii. 6 ; xxxiv. 6, 8 ; which 
are evidently founded on the ancient 
custom of feasting on sacrifices. 

18. Though &1-Q, lulls, which Hou- 
bigant and Ncwcome adopt after the 
LXX. and Arabic versions, may seem 

CHAP. XXXIX. 26-29.] E Z E K I E L . 197 

19 of Bashan. And ye shall eat fat to satiety, and drink blood to 

20 inebriation, of my sacrifice which I sacrifice for you. And ye 
shall satiate yourselves at my table with horses and charioteers, 

21 heroes and all the men of war, saith the Lord Jehovah. And 
I will set my glory among the nations, and all the nations 
shall see my judgments which I have executed, and my hand 

22 which I have laid upon them. And the house of Israel shall 
know that I Jehovah am their God from that day and forward. 

23 And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into 
captivity through their iniquity, because they rebelled against 
me, and I hid my face from them, and delivered them into the 
hand of their adversaries, and they fell all of them by the sword. 

24 According to their impurity and according to their sins have I 

25 done unto them, and I hid my face from them. Nevertheless, 
thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Now I will reverse the captivity 
of Jacob, and will have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, 

26 and will be jealous for my holy name : After they shall have 
borne their shame and all their iniquity by which they have 
rebelled against me, when they dwelt securely in their own 

27 land and none made them afraid. When I have brought them 
back from the people, and gathered them from the countries of 
their enemies, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many 

28 nations : Then they shall know that I Jehovah am their God, 
in that I caused them to be taken into captivity among the 
heathen, but have gathered them into their own land, and have 

29 left none of them there any more. And I will no more hide 
my face from them, when I have poured out my Spirit upon 
the house of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah. 

more appropriate in such connection tradictory of such passages as xliii. 10, 
than Q"^3 ,lambs, yet it in all probability 11; xxxvi. 31. The meaning is, that 
originated in the want of attention to when the Hebrews had suffered sufficient 
the fact that O^Q occurs immediately punishment for all their acts of rebellion, 
after. The guests were to be amply Jehovah would restore them to the en- 
supplied. Nothing should be wanting joymcnt of their ancient privileges, and 
that could enhance the sumptuousness prove himself to be their covenant God. 
of the banquet. The crowning mercy of all would be the 
26-29. IJJJJI. There is no necessity outpouring of his Holy Spirit, by which 
for changing the punctuation into WJ"- they would be prepared to serve him ac- 
Indeed it would introduce an idea con- ceptably and devotedly for the future. 

The deliverance of the Hebrews was wrought out in a most remarkable manner. 
Mattathias, raising the standard of patriotism, called around him the pious portion 
of his countrymen. His party increased rapidly, till they became a considerable 

198 E Z E K I E L . [CHAPS. XL. - XL VIII. 

army. He appointed his third and bravest son, Judas, military commander, by 
whom the Syrian generals that were sent against him were defeated. In battle 
after battle he proved victorious. Even the army which Lysias sent into Judea 
could not stand before him. Though composed of forty thousand foot and seven 
thousand cavalry, and increased by auxiliaries from the provinces, it proved power 
less before him. Putting the enemy to flight, he secured immense booty. The 
like success attended him the following year, when he defeated an army of sixty 
thousand men, made himself master of several strong cities ; and, retaking 
Jerusalem, purified the temple and restored its solemn services. His brothers 
Simon and Jonathan proved themselves worthy successors of this devoted patriot; 
the independence of the Jews was finally secured, and the royal dignity vested in 
the Asmonseau family, in which it continued till the time of Herod the Great. 


The last nine chapters of this Book contain a remarkable vision, in which Ezekiel 
was furnished with an ideal representation of the Jewish state as about to be 
restored after the captivity. The principal subjects connected with that state 
having been the temple and the temple-worship, the prophet presents these to 
view with all the minuteness and circumstantiality of detail which form so 
marked a characteristic of bis style. 

That it was the restoration of the material temple, then in ruins, that the prophet 
had in his eye, is the only hypothesis which fully meets the exigency of the case; 
the hopes of such a restoration having been rendered prominent in the minds of 
his captive countrymen by the preceding prophecies which he had delivered to 
them. It supersedes the necessity of having recourse to fanciful and arbitrary 
interpretations, removes all contrariety between the delineation in the vision 
relating to the priests, sacrifices, etc., and the doctrine of the New Testament 
respecting the complete abolition of the Levitical worship by the institution of 
the priesthood and sacrifice of Christ; and renders nugatory all expectations of 
a literal fulfilment in the yet distant future. What was wanted was a sanctuary 
that should be serviceable during what might still remain of the period destined 
for the existence of the old economy. When that economy should wax old and 
vanish away, there was to be an end of all merely external circumstances. 
Temple-worship, priesthood, and sacrifices should cease; and a spiritual temple, 
a spiritual priesthood, and spiritual sacrifices were alone to be acceptable to the 
Most High (John iv. 21-24; 1 Cor. vi. 19; 1 Pet. ii. 5). 

The import of the vision, in the main, is this : that God would in due time accomplish 
the restoration of his exiled people to the land of their fathers; effect the recon 
struction of their ruined temple, and the reorganization of its religious services; 
and bless them with manifest tokens of his favor. At the time it was granted, 
the Hebrews were in a state of the lowest depression in Babylon. Fourteen years 
had elapsed since the destruction of their sacred edifice: and nothing could have 
been better calculated to revive their drooping hopes, re-invigorate their confi 
dence in their covenant God, and encourage them to return to Palestine when 
the hour of their liberation should arrive, than the brilliant prospect of the resto 
ration of their civil and religious privileges which the prophet hero holds out to 
their view. 

CHAPS. XL - XLVIII. E Z E K I E L . 199 

The circumstance that in many points the city, temple, and services do not exactly 
accord with the state of things as existing: before the captivity, forms no valid 
objection against the literal interpretation. The differences may have been 
intended to a certain extent to wean the Jews from the idea of the immutability 
of their ancient constitution, and thus prepare them for the complete change 
that was to be effected by the introduction of the new dispensation which was 
speedily to follow. 

The statement made by Havernick, that the post-exilian temple and its ordi 
nances were not restored according to the pattern furnished by Ezekiel, is 
altogether a gratuitous assumption. It is a point on which we have no positive 
historical data to enable us to decide. The discrepancies, however, that have 
been detected between the ancient temple and that described by Ezekiel, are 
non-essential ; all the leading points connected with the sacred theocracy being 
carefully preserved and prominently brought out. 

The vision is not to be regarded as merely a description of what the prophet re 
membered of Solomon s temple ; nor are the discrepancies existing between the 
two edifices to be attributed to defectivencss of memory on his part. It was 
altogether a disclosure to his view of something new, symbolizing, as it was 
eminently calculated to do, the renovated condition of the Jewish state. The 
Holy Spirit doubtless availed himself of the reminiscences of Ezekiel, which 
must have been very vivid in their character, for the purpose of furnishing an 
ideal model of the new temple, and imparted to him such additional particulars 
as were necessary to render it complete. His imagination was so controlled and 
regulated in its creative and combining operations by the superintending Spirit 
of inspiration, that he should present no ideas but those which it was the will 
of God should be exhibited to the people. 

The sacred associations which the prophet had carried with him into the land of his 
captivity would be especially dear to him, from the interest which he must have 
taken in them when, as a priest, he ministered in his official capacity in the 
temple. What more natural than that he should have spoken of the different 
objects as if he had seen them but yesterday? They must have continually 
floated in his mind s eye during his absence from Jerusalem, so that when ho 
was mentally transported thither they could not but rush into his mind with alt 
the freshness of pre-existing reality. With what enthusiasm may we conceive 
him to have caught the first glance of the magnificent structure presented in 
vision to his view! With what interest he must have entered the eastern porch, 
and recognized the altar and other parts of the sacred building! How familiar 
to him must have been every object that met his mental eye! With what atten 
tion he must have listened to the communications made by his celestial conductor 
while detailing to him the various particulars relating to the measures, the parts, 
and the ordinances of the temple! 

Let now any reader of ordinary intelligence turn up the description of the vision, and 
let him be asked what is the impression which it naturally makes upon him, 
and which he finds it impossible to dismiss from his mind, and he will candidly 
own that it is that of a literal temple. The more he studies it, and the more he 
enters into the minutiae, with the greater force docs the conviction rivet itself in 
his mind. Talk to him about spiritual and mystical meanings, you puzzle and 
bewilder him. He may admire your ingenuity, and be brought to be half-in 
clined to embrace your theory, but he cannot, after all, rid himself of the notion 
of a material building and literal ordinances. Turn the subject in which way 
soever he may, it always comes back upon him in this shape. A temple the 
Jews had possessed. It had been the glory of Jerusalem. A restoration of it 
had been promised. It was what was wanted to re-constitute their polity, which 

200 E Z E K I E L . [CHAPS. XL. - XL VIII. 

had been interrupted, but not abrogated. The essential parts of that polity are 
all minutely delineated. Could they have been intended to remain purely ideal? 
Were the captives on their return not to set about attempting to realize them in 
the outward world? Would they have been justified if they had not? And is it 
not a fact that on their return to their metropolis, they did, with the divine 
approval, adopt such measures as lay in their power for carrying the design into 
effect? See Exra iii. That they carried out the plan here furnished them to its 
full extent, is a point which, as already stated, we have no means of positively 
determining. If they failed in doing so, it may have been attributable to cir 
cumstances over which they had no control. In neither case does the circum 
stance affect the divine authority of the prophet. 

Bo far, then, as the temple and its ordinances are concerned, the vision is to be 
interpreted literally. With respect to the waters, etc. (chap, xlvii.), it is altogether 
different. Here there was nothing left for the Jews to do in bringing about the 
reali/.ation of the vision. Having left the temple, the scat of the divine resi 
dence and the source whence blessings were to How to the restored Hebrew 
nation, the prophet is carried in vision southward into the regions of the Dead 
Sea, which had been noted for everything that was forbidden and noxious in its 
aspect the very embodiment of barrenness and desolation. These were now 
to be converted into fertility and beauty. As in their previous condition they 
were strikingly symbolical of the spiritually unproductive and abhorrent char 
acter of idolatrous Israel, so they were now to serve as images of the renewed 
state of things when God should bring back his people, and, according to his 
promises, bless them by conferring upon them abundantly the rich tokens of his 
regard. Instead of a barren wilderness, they should now become as the garden 
of Kdcn. By the copious effusions of the influences of his Holy Spirit, he would 
restore his church to spiritual life, and render her instrumental in diffusing 
blessings to the world around. The chapter thus contains, in the garb of the 
usual figurative language of prophecy, representations in exact keeping with 
what we read, Isa. xii. 3; xliii. 18-21; xliv. 3, 4; Joel iii. 18; Zech. xiv. 8. The 
abundance and beneficial qualities of the waters are strongly marked, and 
form the most prominent feature in the picture. 

The only apparently plausible objection that can be taken to the literal interpretation 
of the temple, is founded on the dimensions assigned to it (chap. xlii. 16-20). It 
remains, however, to be settled whether reeds be the measure there intended; 
and whether, supposing this to be the case, the language be not susceptible of 
another construction. (Sec note on the passage.) Nor is there any inconsistency 
in interpreting one part of the vision literally and the other symbolically. The 
cases are perfectly different. In the one, a literal temple was required to meet 
the circumstances of the exiled Hebrews; in the other, though outwardly 
restored, the temple and temple- worship would still have left them in a state of 
spiritual destitution, if they had not received the blessing from on high. The 
rich and abundant communication of this blessing we conceive to be beautifully 
set forth under the image of a river issuing forth from the divine presence in 
the new temple; and, increasing as it Hows in the direction of the Dead Sea, 
spreading life and fertility wherever it comes. (See on chapter xlvii.) 

CHAP. XL. 1, 2.] 




Ezekiel, conducted in vision within sight of Jerusalem, then lying in ruins, is to be con 
ceived of as set down on the north side of Moriak, whence he has exhibited to his view 
the structure of a city on the south, with its temple, gates, porches, chambers, windows, 
arches, tables, etc. 

I do not deem it necessary to occupy the time of my readers by entering minutely into 
matters of architectural detail; for whatever interest they might have for those who 
study this portion of the sacred writings merely for professional purposes, they would 
contribute but little to the edification cf the general reader. Nor, for the same rea 
son, shall I dwell upon the etymological import of all the terms which occur in these 
chapters. The curious in such matters 1 refer to Botcher s 1 roben Alt-Testamentlicher 
Schrifterklirung, Leipzig, 1833. 

1 IN the five and twentieth year of our captivity, at the beginning 

of the year, on the tenth of the month, in the fourteenth year 
after the city had been smitten, on that very day the hand of 

2 Jehovah was upon me, and he brought me thither. In visions 
of God he brought me into the laud of Israel, and set me upon 
a very high mountain, and upon it was, as it were, the frame of 

1. Some difficulty has been found in 
determining what is meant by l^li" 1 
"!!tt?n , the beginning of the year, in which 
the vision was granted. In all proba 
bility, however, it was that of the Jewish 
ecclesiastical year, the first of the month 
Nisan, or Abib. Ewald and Fairbairn 
very rationally conclude that the term 
FW3iy , thither, originated in the thoughts 
and feelings of the prophet being directed 
towards Jerusalem as their centre. See 
the epcxegcsis vcr. 3. By "H " " 1 . 1? , the. 
hand of Jehovah, we are to understand 
the impulse by which the prophet was 
mentally transported from the Chcbar 
to the land of his fathers. Compare 
chap. iii. 14. 

2. For, nrn Kx r\iX~V, visions of God, 
compare chapters viii. 3 ; xliii. 3. Both 
these substantives are strictly plural, 
comprehending the various parts of the 
scenic representation, and are not to be 
interpreted of a plural of excellency, 
sublimity, or the like, as proposed by 
some. The objects were presented to 
the mental view of Ezekiel in a waking 
state, and arc thus distinguishable from 

those which were communicated in 
dreams. The images exhibited possessed 
all the vividness and distinctness of out 
ward objects. Gesenius renders, visions 
from God, but this is unnecessary, since 
it must at once be obvious that the word 
is designed to express, not visions of 
which God was the object, but those of 
which he was the author. ixp iH3J Iti , 
an exceeding hirih mountain. Compare 
for the phraseology 6pos fyrihbv \iav, 
Matt. iv. 8. Michaelis and some other 
commentators consider the term moun 
tain to be here used metaphorically, as 
in Isa. ii. 2, to denote the superiority of 
Jerusalem in a moral point of view. The 
specification of the heightof the mountain 
is not to be pressed, otherwise we cannot 
suppose the prophet to have been mentally 
located at Jerusalem. Neither Mount 
Zion, Mount Moriah, nor even Mount 
Olivet can lay claim to such a distinction. 
Mayer observes that, in comparison with 
the mountains of Switzerland, Moriah 
would be regarded as an inconsiderable 
height. Still its altitude is more than 
two thousand feet above the level of the 


E Z E K I E L . 

[CHAP. XL. 2-4. 

3- a city southward. And he brought me thither, and behold, a 
man whose appearance was as the appearance of brass, with a 
a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed ; and he stood 

4 in the gate. And the man spake unto me : Son of man, see 
with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thy heart to 
all that I will show thee ; for in order that I might show it to 
thee art thou brought hither : declare all that thou seest to the 

5 house of Israel. And, behold, a wall without the house round 
about, and in the hand of the man a measuring reed, six cubits 
by a cubit and a haudbreadth ; and he measured the breadth of 

Mediterranean, and must have appeared 
very high to the prophet, situated as he 
had been on the plains of Babylon. ?X 
occasions no difficulty, and requires no 
conjectural emendation into *?. The 
preposition is sometimes used in a less 
accurate sense, to denote proximity in 
reference to any place, without defining 
whether the subject was on, at, or by it. 
It is therefore to be rendered as best 
suits the tenor of the discourse. Here 
the idea of on or upon would seem the 
most suitable. 

Looking southward from Moriah, 
Ezekiel discovered the structure of a 
city, which lie immediately proceeds to 
describe as a temple that being the 
most prominent object in the vision 
with all its different buildings and com 
partments. Precisely in this direction 
must the former city and temple have 
appeared to one who approached them 
from the north. Strictly speaking, the 
"^S or citadel of Zion lay to the west of 
the temple on Moriah ; but viewed from 
the north, they both lay in a southerly 
direction. The description gives no 
countenance whatever to the notion 
entertained by some, that a space stretch 
ing altogether to the south of Jerusalem 
was intended by tlie locality here specified. 

3. Who this W^X , man, was, we are 
not informed. Nor is it necessary to 
conjecture. Suffice it that he was pre 
pared to execute the task committed to 
him of taking the dimensions of the 
temple, and holding converse with the 

prophet relative to its several appurte 
nances. To convey the idea of his 
celestial commission, the splendor of 
his appearance is compared to that of 
brightly polished metal. The messenger 
had in his hand two measuring instru 
ments : the one CTTi Q ^ r nS , a tape or 
line made of flax, used in taking the 
longer measurements ; the other, i"!-]? > 
the reed, rod, or cane employed in taking 
that of houses. Considerable difficulty 
has been found in exactly determining 
the length of the Hebrew measures. 
Michaelis enters at much length into 
the subject in his German Notes, which 
I would recommend to the perusal of 
the reader. Suffice it here to say, that 
measures of length were for the most 
part taken from the human body. Thus 
!~rax , ulna, a cubit, so called from its 
signifying that part of the arm which 
extends from the elbow to the extremity 
of the middle finger. To this was given 
the name of the greater cubit. It is 
described by Ezekiel as consisting of an 
ordinary cubit and an hand-breadth, 
xliii. 13, compared with xl. 1, 5. The 
smaller cubit reached from the elbow to 
the wrist or root of the hand. The 
n2u! , or palm, was the space occupied 
by the full breadth of the palm or hand. 
4. Compare chapter xliv. 5. The 
prophet is charged to contemplate with 
the utmost attention and exactitude the 
objects presented to his view, that ho 
might give a true representation of them 
to his countrymen, by whom they might 

CHAP. XL. 4-16.] EZEKIEL. 9Q3 

6 the building, one reed ; and the height, one reed. And he 
came to the gate whose face was towards the east, and went up 
by its steps ; and he measured the threshold of the gate, one 

7 reed broad, and there was another threshold one reed broad. 
And the chamber was one reed long, and one reed broad; 
and between the chambers were five cubits, and the threshold 
of the gate beside the porch of the gate within, one reed. 

8 And he measured the porch of the gate within, one reed. And 

9 he measured the porch of the gate, eight cubits ; and the posts 
thereof, two cubits ; and the porch of the gate was inwards. 

10 And the chambers of the gate eastward were three ou this side, 
and three on that side ; to them three was one measure ; and 

11 the posts had one measure on this side and on that side. And 
he measured the breadth of the opening of the gate, ten cubits; 

12 and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits. And the boundary 
before the chambers, one cubit ; and one cubit the boundary on 
that side, and the chambers were six cubits on this side, and six 

13 cubits on that side. And he measured the gate from the roof 
of the one chamber to the roof of another : the breadth five-and- 

14 twenty cubits, opening against opening. And he made the posts, 
sixty cubits, even unto the post of the court round about the 

15 gate. And before the gate of the entrance, before the porch of 

16 the inner gate, fifty cubits. And latticed windows to the cham 
bers, and to their posts within the gate round about ; and so to 

be available in constructing anew the 8. Tins verse is omitted in sixteen 
house of the Lord on their return from Hebrew MSS., has originally been want- 
Babylon, ing in seven, as it is in the Soncin. and 

6. The mountains on which the temple Brixian editions, the LXX., Syr., and 
had been and was again to be built not Vulg. Ncwcome conjectures that the 
being level, access to it was by steps, porch of the inner gate may possibly be 
I"n??T2 , or stairs, of which according to meant here. CS^X , LXX., irptfaos, the 
the LXX. there were seven (firrb ava- large vestibule or porch before the gate 
fta.dno is), which is confirmed by verses of the temple. Derivation, 3"J< , to be 
25 and 26. fast, i.e. in point of position, presenting 

7. Xn , a room or chamber. This word, itself to view as persons were about to 
of infrequent occurrenee, is derived enter the sacred edifice. 

from i"Pn , to dwell. Lee, comparing the 9- "!&$ This word, which the LXX., 

Arabic ^ , substitit divertitqae, takes thc Tar^um, and the Syriac version leavo 
O> untranslated, u an architectural term, 
the same view of its meaning. These supposed by Gcsenius to denote a pro- 
rooms appear to have been for the use of jection in the form of a pilaster or 
the Levitcs who kept watch at the gates column which served at once for orna- 
of the temple, and for depositing utcn- ment, and as a bulwark for security, 
sils, musical instruments, and the like. 16. The ancients not having glass, 

204 EZEKIEL. [CHAP. XL. 16-18. 

the porches ; and windows were round about inward ; and upon 

17 the posts were palm-trees. And he brought me into the outer 
court ; and, behold, cells and a tesselated pavement made for 

18 the court round about; thirty cells upon the pavement. And 
the pavement at the side of the gates, along the length of the 

19 gates, was the lower pavement. And he measured the breadth 
from before the lower gate before the inner court without, an 

20 hundred cubits, on the east and on the north. And as to the 
gate of the outward court which looketh towards the north, 

21 he measured its length and its breadth. And its chambers, 
three on the one side, and three on the other side ; and the 
posts thereof and the porches thereof were according to the 
measurement of the former gate ; fifty cubits the length thereof, 

22 and its breadth five-and-twenty cubits. And its windows and 
its porches and its palm-trees, according to the measure of the 
gate which was before it, towards the east ; and by seven stairs 

23 they went up into it, and its porches were before them. And 
the gate of the inner court was over against the gate to the 
north and to the east ; and he measured from gate to gate an 

24 hundred cubits. And he brought me by the way of the south ; 
and, behold, a gate by the way of the south ; and he measured its 

25 posts, and its porches, according to these measures. And there 
were windows to it, and to its porches round about, according to 
these windows, fifty cubits in length, and the breadth five-and- 

26 twenty cubits. And there were seven steps to go up by; and 
its porches were before them; and it had palm-trees, one on the 

27 one side, and one on the other side, upon its posts. And there 
was a gate to the inner court towards the south ; and he 
measured from gate to gate towards the south, a hundred cubits. 

28 And he brought me to the inner court in the gate of the south ; 
and he measured the gate of the south according to these 

29 measures. And its chambers, and its porches, and posts, were 

their windows were P1EEX , latticrd. The rris ,23 , cells or chambers, were for 

They were let into the walls, widening containing the tithes of salt, wine, and 

as they receded from them. That the oil, and served also as lodgings for the 

DV^K were partly for ornament would priests while they were on duty in the 

appear from the statement that they had temple. 

representations of D"^ t !SF\ , palm branches, 18. There were two pavements, a 

attached to them. higher and a lower, the former of which 

17. The pavement, itS^n , in the East was level with the entrance at the gate : 

is generally made of mosaic. Roott|^, the latter on either side of the entrance 

to inlay or tessdate. Comp. Esther i. 6. thus formed. 


according to these measures ; and there were windows to it, 
and to its posts round about, fifty cubits in length, and the 

30 breadth twenty-five cubits. And the columns thereof round 

31 about were twenty-five cubits long, and five cubits broad. And 
its columns were towards the outer court ; and palm-trees were 
upon the posts thereof; and its ascent consisted of eight steps. 

32 And he brought me into the inner court toward the east ; and 

33 he measured the gate according to these measures. And its 
chambers, and its posts, and its columns, were according to 
these measures ; and it, and its columns, had windows round 

34 about, fifty cubits long, and five-and-twenty cubits broad. And 
its columns were towards the outer court ; and palm-trees were 
upon its posts, on the one side and on the other ; and its ascent 

35 consisted of eight steps. And he brought me to the north gate, 

36 and measured according to these measures. The chambers 
thereof, and its columns, and its windows round about, fifty 

37 cubits long, and five-and-twenty cubits wide. And the posts 
thereof were towards the outer court ; and palm-trees were 
upon its posts, on this side, and on that side ; and its ascent 

38 consisted of eight steps. And the cells, and their entrances, 
were by the columns of the gates, where they should wash the 

39 burnt-offering. And in the vestibule of the gate were two 
tables on this side, and two tables on that side, on which to slay 
the burnt-offering, and the sin-offering, and the trespass-offering. 

40 And on the side without, by the ascent of the entrance of the 
gate northward, were two tables ; and by the other side which 

41 was in the vestibule of the gate, were two tables. Four tables 
on this side, and four tables on that side, by the side of the 

42 gate ; eight tables, on which they should slay. And four tables 
for the burnt-offering, of hewn stones, the length one cubit and 
a half, and the breadth one cubit and a half, and the height one 
cubit, on which they should lay the instruments with which 

43 they should slay the burnt-offering and the sacrifice. And the 
double stalls, one hand-breadth, fixed within round about ; and 

44 upon the tables the flesh of the offering. And without the 
inner gate were cells for the singers in the inner court, which 
was at the side of the north gate; and their prospect was 
toward the south ; one at the side of the east gate, having the 

45 prospect toward the north. And he said unto me : This cell, 
whose prospect is toward the south, is for the priests, the keepers 

46 of the charge of the house. And the cell whose prospect is 



towards the north is for the priests, the keepers of the charge 
of the altar ; they are the sons of Zadok ; who, of the sons of 

47 Levi, approach to Jehovah to serve him. So he measured the 
court, a hundred cubits long, and a hundred cubits broad, four 

48 square ; and the altar was before the house. And he brought 
me to the perch of the house ; and he measured the porch, five 
cubits on the one side, and five cubits on the other side ; arid 
the breadth of the gate was three cubits on the one side, and 

49 three cubits on the other side. The length of the porch was 
twenty cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits ; and there were 
steps by which they went up to it; and there were pillars in 
the vestibule, one on the one side, and one on the other side. 

46. Zadok was lineally descended from in consequence of the part which Abiathar 

Aaron, and had the hijjjh priesthood had taken in the rebellion of Absalom, 

conferred upon him by Solomon, who 1 Kings ii. 26, 27. 
had set aside the family of Ithamar 


The conductor now introduces Kzekiol into the sacred edifice, which is specially distin 
guished by the name of ^flH > tJ,e palace or residence of Jehovah, which is described 
with its divisions, galleries, posts, doors, windows, cherubim, ornamental palm-trees, etc. 

1 HE then brought me to the temple, and measured the vestibules, 

six cubits broad on this side, and six cubits broad on that side, 

2 the breadth of the tabernacle. And the breadth of the door 
was ten cubits ; and the sides of the door were five cubits on 
the one side, and five cubits on the other side ; and he measured 
the length thereof forty cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits. 

3 Then he went inward, and measured the post of the door, two 
cubits ; and the door, six cubits ; and the breadth of the door, 

4 seven cubits. And he measured the length thereof, twenty cubits, 
and the breadth twenty cubits, before the temple ; and he said 

5 unto me : This is the holy of holies. He then measured the wall 
of the house, six cubits ; and the breadth of the side, four cubits ; 

G round about the house on every side. And the side-chambers 
side to side were three-and-thirty measures ; and they entered 
into the wall which belonged to the house for the side-chambers 
round about, that they might be fastened ; but they were not 

7 fastened in the wall of the house. And there was an enlarging, 
and it winded still upward, to the side-chambers ; for the wind 
ing about of the house was still upward round about the house ; 

CHAP. XLI. 20.] E Z E K I E L . 207 

therefore the breadth of the house was still upward, and so the 

8 lowest went up to the highest by the middle. And I saw the 
height of the house round about ; the foundations of the side- 
chambers were a full reed, six cubits to the root of the hand. 

9 The breadth of the wall which was for the side-chamber without, 
was five cubits ; and what was allotted for the house was for 

10 the side-chambers belonging to the house. And between the 
cells was a width of twenty cubits about the house all around. 

11 And the doors of the side-chambers were towards the allotted 
space, one door towards the north, and another door towards 
the south ; and the breadth of the allotted space was five cubits 

12 round about. And the building which was before the separate 
place on the west side was seventy cubits broad ; and the wall 
of the building was five cubits broad round about, and its length 

13 was ninety cubits. So he measured the house, the length a 
hundred cubits ; and the separate place, and the building toward 

14 the east, a hundred cubits. And the breadth of the face of the 
house, and of the separate place toward the east, a hundred 

15 cubits. And he measured the length of the building over against 

O O O 

the separate place which was behind it, and the galleries thereof 
from one side to another, one hundred cubits, with the inner 
1 G temple and the porches of the court ; the door-posts, and the 
latticed windows, and the galleries round about on their three 
sides, opposite to the door-posts, boarded with wood round 
about ; and from the ground up to the windows, and the windows 

17 were covered ; Over above the door, even to the inner house, 
and without, and to all the wall round about, within and without 

18 the house, by measures. And there were made cherubim and 
palm-trees ; and there was a palm-tree between each cherub ; 

19 and the cherub had two faces. And the face of a man was 
toward the palm-tree on the one side, and the face of a young 
lion toward the palm-tree on the other side ; it was made 

20 through all the house round about. From the ground to up 
above the door the cherubim and the palm-trees were made in 

21 the wall of the temple. As for the temple, the door-posts were 
square, and before the holy place ; the appearance of the one 

22 was as the appearance of the other. The altar of wood was 
three cubits high, and its length two cubits, and its corners and 

20. ^ ) 3* r! f l This word, which is Masorctes have marked with cxtraordi- 
repeatcd at the beginning of the follow- nary points, to indicate that they did 
ing verse, is one of fifteen which the not belong to the original text. 

208 E z E K I E L . [Ciixr. XLII. 

its length and its walls were of wood. And he said unto me : 

23 This is the table which is before Jehovah. And the temple and 

24 the sanctuary had two doors. And the doors had two leaves, 
two turning leaves, two for the one door, and two leaves for the 

25 other. And there were made for them, for the doors of the 
temple, cherubim and palm-trees, as had been made for the 
walls ; and there was a thick plank-work before the porch from 

26 without. And latticed windows and palm-trees, on the one side 
and . on the other side, at the sides of the porch ; and on the 
side-chambers of the house, and the thick planks. 


Having surveyed the sanctuary, our prophet has his attention drawn to the chambers for 
the use of the priests, which are described in succession. Certain regulations are then 
prescribed, relating to the table of the priests, and their official dress; and the chapter 
concludes with a specification of the measurements of the sacred building. 

1 AND he brought me out into the outer court, the way toward the 

north, and brought me into the cell that was opposite the 
separate place, and which was opposite the building toward the 

2 north. Before the length of an hundred cubits was the north 

3 door, and the breadth was fifty cubits. Opposite the twenty 
cubits which were for the inner court, and opposite the pave 
ment which was for the outer court, was one terrace before 

4 another in three stories. And before the cells was a walk of 
ten cubits breadth inward, a way of one cubit ; and their doors 

5 were toward the north. And the upper chambers were shorter, 
for the galleries contained more than these, more than the 

6 lower and the middlemost of the building. For they were in 
three stories, but they had no pillars as the pillars of the courts, 
therefore it was contracted from the lower and from the middle- 

7 most from the ground. And the wall which was without over 
against the cells by the way of the outer court before the cells 

8 was as to its length fifty cubits. For the length of the cells 
which belonged to the outer court was fifty cubits ; and, behold, 

9 before the temple were an hundred cubits. And below these 
cells was the entrance from the east, as one went into them 

10 from the outer court. In the breadth of the wall of the court 
towards the east before the separate place, and before the build- 

CHAP. XLII. 16-20.] E Z E K I E L . 209 

11 ing, were cells. And there was a way before them, like the 
appearance of the cells which were toward the north, as long as 
they, and as broad as they ; and all their outgoings, according 

12 to their fashions, and according to their doors. And according 
to the doors of the cells which were toward the south, a door at 
the beginning of the way, the way before the separate place, 

13 by the way of the east, to the entrance into the same. And he 
said unto me, The cells toward the north, and the cells toward 
the south, which are before the separate place, are cells of the 
holy place, where the priests who draw near to Jehovah shall 
eat the most holy things ; there they shall place the most holy 
things, both the meat-offering, and the sin-offering, and the tres- 

14 pass offering, for the place is holy. When the priests enter in, 
they shall not go forth from the holy place into the outer court, 
but they shall leave there their garments in which they have 
officiated, for they are holy, and put on other garments, and 
shall approach the place that belongeth to the people. 

15 And he finished the measurements of the inner house, and brought 

me out by way of the gate which looketh toward the east, and 

16 measured it round about. He measured the east side with the 
measuring reed, five hundred reeds with the measuring reed 

16-20. The prophet, having specified transposing the order of the letters from 

the different measurements of the sacred rP33N into Fn&TO , prescribes that Jive 

edifice, here sums up in a gross estimate hundred is to be regarded as the true 

the extent of the whole. The reading reading ; and this is adopted here in a 

O" 1 ^ , reeds, in these verses, has been great number of Heb. MSS. ; in the 

much disputed. From the circumstance Soncin. and Brixian editions, and is 

that almost throughout the description supported by the ancient versions, 

of the temple, mflX , cubits, are used as The LXX., omitting the number cn- 

the measure, it has been inferred that tirely ver. 16, simply read na\ Siffj.fTprjcrt 

Ezekiel must have meant the same here; itevTaKoffiovs, and measured jive hundred ; 

and because the plural form Q n ?|3 is but in verses 17 and 20 they supply 

elsewhere in Hebrew usage employed Trijxf *, cubits. In this they are followed 

only to designate the branches of the by Capellus, J. D. Michaelis, Ncwcome, 

candlestick, it has been maintained that Ewald, Ilitzig, and other moderns, who 

it cannot be taken in the sense of a unceremoniously strike ^-^ out of the 

measure. But this reasoning is alto- Hebrew text, in violation of one of the 

gether fallacious, for it does not appear, first principles of Hebrew criticism, since 

if it was necessary to express the plural the word is found in all the MSS. that 

at all, why it should not be employed to have yet been collated, 

convey the idea of measure as well as The objection urged by Lightfoot, and 

of anything else. repeated by Fairbairn, that the number 

The textual reading of verse 16, CEH would furnish a compass of ground 

niHXj^ye cubits, being altogether un- incomparably larger than that of Mount 

suitable to the connection, the Keri, Moriah several times over, may be ob- 



[CHAP. XLIII. 1-5. 

17 round about. lie measured the north side five hundred reeds, 

18 with the measuring reed round about. He measured the south 

19 side five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed. Turning to 
the west side, he measured five hundred reeds with the measur- 

20 ing reed. He measured it by its four sides ; it had a wall 
round about, five hundred long, and five hundred broad, to 
make a division between the holy place and the profane. 

viatcd by supposing that the prophet 
here employs an architectural hyperbole 
with the view of conveying the idea of 
sufficient amplitude, just as he specifics 

of the river, to express that of great 
abundance, (chap. xlii. 1-5). Viewed 
in this light, the notion of a natural 
impossibility vanishes, and leaves the 

four thousand cubits as the gross length literal interpretation intact. 


This chapter contains a vision of the return of the visible symbol of the divine presence 
to the temple, which had been withdrawn, when Jerusalem was taken by the Chaldeans, 
1-3; a resumption of his throne by Jehovah, as King of the Jews, 4-0; the sacredness 
of the temple contrasted with its former desecration, 7-12; together with a particular 
specification of the measures of the altar, and of the propitiatory sacrifices that were 
to be offered upon it, 13-27. 

1 AND he conducted me to the gate, the gate which faceth the east. 

2 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way 
of the east, and the sound thereof was as the sound of many 

3 waters, and the earth sinned with his glory. And the ap 
pearance was as the appearance which I saw, as the appearance 
which I saw when I came to destroy the city, and appearances 
as the appearance which I saw by the river Chebar ; and I fell 

4 upon my face. And the glory of Jehovah entered the house by 

5 the way of the gate whose aspect is towards the east. And the 
Spirit lifted me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, 
behold, the house was filled with the glory of Jehovah. 

1-5. "What is here described took 
place in vision, just as we are to under 
stand what is said of the removal of the 
visible symbol of the divine presence, 
(chap. xi. 23). It is not necessary there 
fore to suppose that this token was 
actually restored ; and indeed the Jews 
themselves allow that it was one of 

those things in which the second temple 
was deficient. What we are taught in 
the passage is, that Jehovah would 
renew the manifestation of his favor 
to the covenant people, which he did 
pre-eminently when he dwelt among 
them in the person of his incarnate 

CHAP. XLHI. 7-12. EZEKIEL. 211 

6 And I heard one speaking to me from the house, and a man stood 

7 beside me. And he said unto me, Son of man, this is the place 
of my throne, even the place of the soles of my feet, where I 
will dwell among the children of Israel forever ; and the chil 
dren of Israel shall not defile my holy name any more, they, nor 
their kings, with their whoredoms, and with the carcasses of 

8 their kings on their death : While they set their threshold 
beside my threshold, and their door-post beside my door-post, 
and the wall betwixt me and them, they even defiled my holy 
name with their abominations which they committed, wherefore 

9 I consumed them in mine anger. Now let them remove their 
whoredom, and the carcases of their kings far from me ; and I 
will dwell in the midst of them forever. 

10 Thou, O son of man, show the house of Israel the house, that they 

may be ashamed of their iniquities, and let them measure the 

11 pattern. And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, 
show them the form of the house, and the pattern thereof, and 
the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the 
forms thereof, and all the statutes thereof, and all the forms 
thereof, and all the laws thereof; and write it in their sight, 
that they may observe all the forms thereof, and all the ordi- 

12 nances thereof, and do them. This is the law of the house 
upon the summit of the mount ; the whole boundary thereof 
round about shall be most holy ; behold, this is the law of the 

7-9. The particle HX here possesses of proximity with the temple by burying 

a peculiarly demonstrative and emphatic the dead bodies of their kings within its 

power, and requires the substantive verb sacred precincts, the idolatrous princes 

is, or as Maurer gives it, behold to be built altars to idols in the temple itself, 

supplied. The whole of the precincts doing the utmost despite to its glorious 

of the temple being considered sacred, inhabitant (2 Kings xxi. 4-7; xxiii. 12). 

it was a profanation to inter the dead 10-12. By exhibiting to the view of 

bodies even of the kings in any part the Hebrews an exact pattern of the 

of them. BP1E3, with fifteen of DC temple and its ordinances, they were to 

Rossi s MSS. and the Sonein. edition, be reminded of what they had forfeited 

I would point nriTSa , and render when by their apostasy, and thus to be led to 

tiiey are dead. Ewald : die Leichen ihrer repentance and deep humiliation before 

verstorliene Koiiiye. See my Comment, their God, who, notwithstanding, was 

on Isa. liii. p. 385. The construction willing to receive them back again into 

put upon this verse by Ilavernick and favor. It seems scarcely possible to 

Fairbairn, that by their kings we are to conceive of the propriety of the language 

understand their Molochs or idol gods, here employed on any other principle 

I cannot but consider forced and inept, than that of admitting its reference to 

Not content with bringing their abomi- a material temple and its ordinances, 

nations into immediate contact in point The repetitious forms convey the idea 

212 EZEKIEL. [CHAP. XLIII. 12-27. 

13 house. And these are the measurements of the altar by cubits : 
the cubit is a cubit and a palm : and the hollow a cubit, and 
the breadth a cubit, and the border thereof to the edge thereof 
round about shall be a span ; and this is the back of the altar. 

14 And from the hollow of the ground to the lower settle two 
cubits, and the breadth a cubit ; and from the smaller settle to 

15 the greater settle four cubits, and the breadth a cubit. And the 
altar shall be four cubits ; and from the altar and upward, shall 

16 be four horns. And the altar shall be twelve cubits long, by 

17 twelve broad, square on the four sides thereof. And the settle 
shall be fourteen cubits long, and fourteen broad, square on the 
four sides thereof; and the border round it shall be half a cubit, 
and the settle thereof one cubit round about; and the ascent 
to it shall face the east. 

18 And he said unto me : Son of man, thus saith the Lord Jehovah : 

These are the ordinances of the altar in the day when they shall 
make it to offer burnt-offerings thereon, and to sprinkle blood 

19 thereon. And thou shalt give to the priests the Levites, who 
are of the seed of Zadok, who draw near unto me, saith the 
Lord Jehovah, to serve me, a young bullock for a sin-offering. 

20 And thou shalt take of the blood thereof, and put it upon the 
four horns of the altar, and upon the four corners of the settle, 
and upon the border round about : thus shalt thou cleanse it, 

21 and expiate it. And thou shalt take the bullock of the sin- 
offering, and he shall burn it in the appointed place of the 

22 house, without the sanctuary. And on the second day thou 
shalt offer a kid of the goats without blemish for a sin-offering ; 
and they shall expiate the altar, as they expiated it with the 

of intensity, indicating the care which thereby denoting the invincible strength 
was to be taken that everything was of Jerusalem ; but even when occurring 
effected with the utmost exactitude, there, the word much more appropriately 
The whole was to be stamped with the characterizes that city as the centre of 
character of peculiar sanctity. The the Jewish worship, of which the offer- 
temple and the whole of its precincts ing of burnt sacrifices formed so promi- 
wcre to be O^nf:! CJ tp , holy of holies, nent a part. See my note on that pas- 
i.e. most holy, a phrase which in this sage. The idea of altar, therefore, is 
superlative form is used exclusively of that distinctly conveyed, 
the adytum (Exod. xxvi. 34), was now 18-27. Here the sacrificial ordinances 
to characterize the entire edifice and its of the Lcvitical law are distinctly recog- 
precincts. nized, a clear proof that respect is had 
13. In elucidation of the term ? X^-.X , to a time when these ordinances were 
Ariel, some refer to ^"IS > Isa. xxix. 1, still in force. Yet upon this portion of 
viewed as signifying lion of God, and the vision has been constructed the 




23 bullock. When thou hast made an end of cleansing it, thou 
shalt offer a young bullock without blemish, and a ram out of 

24 the flock without blemish. And thou shalt offer them before 
Jehovah : and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and offer 

25 them up for a burnt-offering to Jehovah. Seven days thou 
shalt prepare, each day, a goat for a sin-offering, and a young 

26 bullock, and a ram out of the flock without blemish. Seven 
days shall they purge the altar and purify it, and fill their 

27 hands. And when the days are expired, it shall be upon the 
eighth day and forward, that the priests shall prepare your 
burnt-offerings and your peace-offerings upon the altar, and I 
will accept you, saith the Lord Jehovah. 

hypothesis of commemorative sacrifices 
under the Christian dispensation, which 
is nothing better than a pure invention, 
unsupported by any authority in the 
New Testament. The only rite com 
memorative of the death of Christ 
sanctioned by divine authority is the 
ordinance of the Lord s Supper. The 
re-institution of literal sacrifices would 
be to fly directly in the face of the 
doctrine expressly taught, Hcb. x. 1-18. 
It would imply that sin was still un- 
atoned for, and consequently that the 
guiltof believers remained untakcn away. 
That the sacrifices described by Ezekiel 

were strictly piacular or propitiatory, 
and not merely commemorative and 
eucharistical, is evident from the terms 
employed in describing them. They 
were to be M rn?"i3 , b/oocly sacrifices, 
specifically offered ^QS , to make expiation, 
to placate, or remove contracted guilt. 
The bullock and the kid of the goats 
were to be offered PXanb , for a sin- 
offering, which conveys the same idea. 
To Jill the hand, ver. 26, implies to fill it 
with offerings, to take a full supply of 
them. The reference is to the mode 
of sacerdotal consecration, Exod. xxix. 
24, 35. 


We have here regulations relating to the prince or civil ruler of the Hebrews when he 
drew near to worship before the Lord, 1-3; together with reproofs of the people, and 
especially of the Levites, who, for their breach of the divine covenant, were to be 
excluded from the priesthood, 4-14. This high ofiice was now to be restricted to the sons 
of Zadok, in reward of their fidelity during the general defection, 15-31. (Comp. chap, 
xl. 46). 

1 THEN he brought me back by the way of the gate of the outer 

2 sanctuary which faceth the east ; and it was shut. Then said 
Jehovah unto me : This gate shall be shut : it shall not be 
opened, and no man shall enter by it, because Jehovah the 

214 EZEKIEL. [CnAP. XLIV. 3. 

3 God of Israel hath entered in by it: it shall be shut. The 
prince, indeed, the prince shall sit in it to eat bread before Je 
hovah ; by the way of the porch of the gate he shall enter in, 

4 and he shall go out by the way of the same. And he brought 
me by the way of the north gate before the house ; and I looked ; 
and, behold, the glory of Jehovah filled the house of Jehovah ; 

5 and I fell upon my face. And Jehovah said unto me : Son of 
man, set thy heart, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with 
thine ears all that I say unto thce concerning all the ordinances 
of the house of Jehovah, and concerning all the laws thereof; and 
set thine heart to the entrance of the house with all the goings 

6 out of the sanctuary. And thou shalt say to the rebellious house 
of Israel : Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Let it suffice you for 

7 all your abominations, O house of Israel, In that you have 
brought strangers into my sanctuary, uncircumcised in heart, 
and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute my 
house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood ; and they 
have broken my covenant, because of all your abominations. 

8 And ye have not kept the charge of my holy things, but have 

9 set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves. Thus 
saith the Lord Jehovah : No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, 
nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of 

10 any stranger that is among the children of Israel. And the 
Lcvites, who departed away from me when Israel went astray, 
who went astray from me after their idols, even they shall bear 

11 their iniquity. Yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, 
having charge at the gates of the house, and ministering to the 
house ; they shall kill the burnt-offering and the sacrifice for 
the people, and they shall stand before them to serve them. 

12 Because they served them before their idols, and were a 
stumbling-block of iniquity to the children of Israel, therefore I 
lifted up my hand against them, saith the Lord Jehovah, and 

13 they shall bear their iniquity. And they shall not come near 
to me to do the office of priest unto me, to come near to any of 
my holy things in the most holy place, but they shall bear their 
shame, and their abominations which they have committed. 

3. It cannot but appear strange that identified, since the simple fact of his 

any should suppose that the prince here offering animal sacrifices for himself 

referred to is any other than the civil (chap. xlvi. 4) would in such case flatly 

ruler, for the time being, of the Jewish contradict what we are taught, Ilcb. x. 

state. With our Saviour ho cannot be 18. Sec on chap, xliii. 18-27. 


14 Yet I will make them keepers of the charge of the house, and 
all the service thereof, and for all that shall he done therein. 

15 But the priests, the sons of Zadok, the Levites who have kept 
the charge of my sanctuary, when the children of Israel went 
astray from me, they shall come near unto me to serve me, and 
they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, 

16 saith the Lord Jehovah. They shall enter into my sanctuary, 
and they shall come near unto my table to serve me, and they 

17 shall keep my charge. And it shall be when they enter in at 
the gates of the inner court, that they shall be clothed with 
linen garments ; and wool shall not come upon them while they 

18 serve in the gates of the inner court, and within. They shall 
have linen bonnets on their heads, and they shall have linen 
drawers upon their loins : they shall not gird themselves with 

19 anything that causeth sweat. And when they go out into the 
outer court, even into the outer court unto the people, they shall 
put off their garments in which they have ministered, and lay 
them in the holy cells, and put on other garments ; and they 
shall not sanctify the people with their garments. Neither shall 
they shave their heads, nor allow their hair to grow long ; they 

21 shall only poll their heads. Neither shall any priest drink wine, 

22 wjien they go in to the inner court. Neither shall they take 
for them for wives a widow, or her that hath been put away, 
but maidens of tire seed of the house of Israel ; but they may 

23 take a widow who hath been the widow of a priest. And they 
shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the 
profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the 

24 clean. And in matter of litigation they shall stand in judgment ; 
they shall judge it according to my judgments, and they shall 
keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies ; and they 

25 shall hallow my Sabbaths. And they shall not go in to a dead 
man to defile themselves ; but for father, or for mother, or for 
son, or for daughter, for brother, or for sister who hath had no 

26 husband, they may defile themselves. And after he is cleansed, 

27 they shall reckon unto him seven days. And in the day that 
he goeth into the sanctuary, into the inner court, to minister iu 
the sanctuary, he shall offer his sin-offering, saith the Lord 

28 Jehovah. And it shall be to them for an inheritance : I am 
their inheritance ; and ye shall give them no possession in Israel : 

29 I am their possession. They shall eat the meat-offering, and 
the sin-offering, and the trespass-offering; and every devoted 

216 EZEKIEL. [CHAP. XL V. 1. 

30 thing in Israel shall be theirs. And the first of all the firstlings 
of all, and every oblation, every one of all your oblations, shall 
be the priests ; and ye shall give unto the priest the first of 

31 your dough, to cause a blessing to rest upon your house. The 
priests shall not eat anything that hath died of itself, or is torn, 
whether it be of fowl or of beast. 


Everything connected with the temple having been settled, the division of the land is 
naturally next adverted to, with special reference to the provision for the sacred services, 
and for the city, the priests, and the prince ; and particular instructions are given bearing 
against oppression and acts of injustice. 

The special territorial division of the country among the tribes is reserved for chap, xlviii.; 
only the portion devoted to the Lord is here subdivided into three parts; that which 
was to be specially appointed for the uses of the sanctuary, 2, 3; a portion for the priests 
who were attached to the service of the temple, 4; and a separate portion for the Levites 
to occupy as dwellings while discharging the functions of their office, 5. (Comp. chap, 
xlviii. 8-13). 

1 AND when ye divide the land by lot for inheritance, ye shall heave 

a heave-oftering unto Jehovah, a holy portion of the land ; the 
length shall be the length of five-and-twenty thousand, and 
the breadth ten thousand : it shall be holy in all the border 

2 thereof round about. Of this shall be for the sanctuary five 
hundred by five hundred, square round about ; and fifty cubits 

3 an open place for it round about. And of this measure thou 
shalt measure the length of five-and-twenty thousand, and the 
breadth of ten thousand : and in it shall be the sanctuary, the 

4 holy of holies. The holy portion of the land shall be for the 
priests the ministers of the sanctuary, who draw near to serve 
Jehovah ; and it shall be to them a place for houses, and a holy 

1. A portion of the land of Canaan, by Ilavernick and Fairbairn ; but I 

called the i"! ? Hn , Tentmah or Oblation, think inconsistently with the natural 

was to be reserved for Jehovah, as pro- import of the statement, vcr. 3, for 

prictor of the soil. It is so called, be- TX-Tn rn^fl , this measure, can be no 

cause usually when anything was offered other than that of cubits just specified 

to the Lord, the action was accompanied in the preceding verse. It is quite un- 

by lifting up the hand ; root O" 1 ")^ to necessary to assume the larger measure, 

raise. The dimensions specified in this since the dimensions according to cubits 

chapter have been much disputed. Reeds must have been amply sufficient to meet 

have been introduced in italics into the the demands of the different parties here 

text by our translators, and are defended referred to. 

CHAP. XL V. 12.] EZEKIEL. 217 

5 place for the sanctuary. And the five-and-twenty thousand iu 
length, and the ten thousand in breadth, shall be for the Levites 
serving the house, for themselves, for a possession, twenty cells. 

6 And ye shall appoint the possession of the city five thousand 
broad, and five-and-twenty thousand long, over against the holy 

7 oblation ; it shall be for the whole house of Israel. And for the 
prince shall be on one side and the other of the oblation of the 
holy place, and of the possession of the city, before the oblation 
of the holy place, and before the possession of the city, on the 
west side westward, and on the east side eastward, and the length 
over against one of the portions from the west border unto the 

8 east border. As to the land, it shall be to him for a possession 
hi Israel ; and my princes shall no more oppress my people ; 
and the rest of the land they shall give to the house of Israel 

9 according to their tribes. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : Let 
it suffice you, ye princes of Israel ; remove violence and spoil, 
and execute judgment and justice ; take away your exactions 

10 from my people, saith the Lord Jehovah. Ye shall have just 

11 balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath. The ephah and 
the bath shall be of one measure, that the bath may contain the 
tenth part of an homer, and the ephah the tenth part of au 

12 homer ; the measure thereof shall be after the homer. And the 
shekel shall be twenty gerahs ; twenty shekels, five-and-twenty 

13 shekels, fifteen shekels, shall be your manch. This is the 
oblation that ye shall offer, the sixth part of an ephah of an 
homer of wheat ; and ye shall give a sixth part of an ephah of 

14 an homer of barley. And as for the appointed quantity of oil, 
the bath of oil, the tenth part of a bath out of the cor, which is 

15 an homer of ten baths : for ten baths are an homer. And one 
lamb out of the flock, out of two hundred, from the well-watered 
pastures of Israel, for a meat-offering, and for a burnt-offering, 
and for peace-offerings, to make atonement for them, saith the 

16 Lord Jehovah. All the people of the land shall give this 

17 oblation for the prince in Israel. And it shall be for the prince 
to give the burnt-offerings, and the meat-offerings, and the 
drink-offerings, on the festivals, and on the new moons, and on 

12. The standard weights and measures shekel here referred to were probably 

having perished when the temple was coins differing in value. No importance 

destroyed by the Chaldeans, it was is to be attached to the order in which 

necessary there should be a fresh speci- they occur, twenty, twenty-five, fifteeen, 

fication of them. The three orders of instead of fifteen, twenty, twenty-five. 


the Sabbaths, on all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel : 
he shall prepare the sin-offering, and the meat-offering, and the 
burnt-offering, and the peace-offerings, to make an atonement 

18 for the house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : In the 
first month, on the first of the month, thou shall take a young 

19 bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary. And the 
priest shall take of the blood of the sin-offering and put it upon 
the posts of the house, and upon the four corners of the settle 
of the altar, and upon the posts of the gate of the inner court. 

20 And thus shalt thou do on the seventh of the month for every 
one that errcth, and for him that is simple ; and ye shall make 

21 atonement for the house. In the first month, on the fourteenth 
day of the month, ye shall have the passover, the feast of seven 

22 days ; unleavened bread shall be eaten. And the prince shall 
on the same day prepare for himself, and for all the people of 

23 the land, a bullock as a sin-offering. And on the seven days 
of the feast he shall prepare a burnt-offering for Jehovah, seven 
bullocks and seven rams without blemish daily, the seven days ; 

24 and for a sin-offering, a kid of the goats, daily. And he shall 
prepare a meat-offering of an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah 

25 for a ram. and a hin of oil for an ephah. In the seventh month, 
on the fifteenth day of the month, he shall prepare on the 
festival, as on these seven days, according to the sin-offering, 
according to the burnt-offering, and according to the meat 
offering, and according to the oil. 


A continuation of ordinances rotating to the worship performed by the prince, 1-8, and 
likewise by the people, 9-15, at their annual festivals, as well as in relation to the daily 

1 THUS saith the Lord Jehovah : The gate of the inner court that 

looketh towards the east shall be shut the six work-days, but 
on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the new 

2 moon it shall be opened. And the prince shall enter by the 
way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the 
post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt-offering, 
and his peace-offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold 
of the gate ; and he shall go forth ; and the gate shall not be 

CHAP. XL VI. 4.] E Z E K I E L . 219 

3 shut until the evening. And the people of the land shall 
worship at the door of this gate on the Sabbaths, and on the 

4 new moons, before Jehovah. And the burnt-offering, which 
the prince shall bring near to Jehovah on the Sabbath, shall be 

5 six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish : And a 
meat-offering, an ephah for a ram, and a meat-offering for the 
lambs, according as his hand shall attain to, and a hin of oil to 

6 an ephah. And on the day of the new moon, a young bullock 
without blemish, and six lambs, and a ram ; without blemish 

7 they shall be. And he shall prepare a meat-offering, an ephah 
for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and for the lambs according 

8 as his hand shall attain to, and a hin of oil to an ephah. And 
when the prince entereth, he shall enter by the way of the porch 

9 of the gate, and by the way thereof he shall go forth. And 
when the people of the land enter before Jehovah in the ap 
pointed feasts, he that entereth by the way of the north gate to 
worship, shall go out by the way of the south gate ; and he that 
entereth by the way of the south gate shall go out by the way 
of the north gate ; he shall not return by the way of the gate 

10 by which he entered, but shall go out over against it. And the 
prince shall be among them ; when they enter in, he shall enter 

11 in; and when they go out, he shall go out. And on the festivals, 
and in the solemn assemblies, shall be the meat-offering, an 
ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and for the lambs 
as much as his hand shall attain to, and of oil a hin to the ephah. 

12 And when the prince shall prepare a voluntary burnt-offering, 
or voluntary peace-offerings unto Jehovah, they shall open to 
him the gate that looketh toward the east, and he shall prepare 
his burnt-offering and his peace-offerings, according as he pre- 
pareth on the Sabbath-day ; and he shall go forth, and the door 

13 shall be shut after he hath gone forth. And thou shalt prepare 
daily a burnt-offering unto Jehovah, a lamb of a year old without 

14 blemish ; every morning thou shalt prepare it. And thou shalt 
prepare for it a meat-offering every morning, the sixth part of 

4. It is noticeable that six lambs are of the people in general, but in the other 

here specified as the number to be offered to those of the prince in particular; 

on the Sabbath, whereas only two arc and that in consequence of the liberal 

prescribed by the Mosaic law, (Numb, provision made for the establishment of 

xxviii. 9). The difference may be ac- the latter, it was assumed that he would 

counted for on the ground, that in the set a proportionately bountiful example 

one case respect is had to the offerings to the people. 

220 EZEKIEL. [CHAP. XLVI. 17. 

an ephah, and the third part of a hin of oil with which to moisten 
the fine flour, a meat-offering to Jehovah, continually by a 

15 perpetual statute. And they shall prepare the lamb, and the 
meat-offering, and the oil, every morning, a continual burnt- 

1C Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: When the prince shall give a gift 
to any of his sons, the inheritance of it shall be for his sons ; 

17 it shall be their possession by inheritance. But when he shall 
give a gift of his inheritance to one of his servants, it shall be 
his to the year of liberty ; then shall it return to the prince ; 

18 but his inheritance shall be for his sons. And the prince shall 
not take of the inheritance of the people to thrust them out of 
their inheritance by oppression ; he shall give his sons inheritance 
out of his own possession, that my people may not be scattered 
every one from his possession. 

19 Then he brought me through the entrance, which was by the side 

of the gate, into the holy cells of the priests which looked toward 
the north ; and, behold, there was a place at the two ends toward 

20 the west. And he said unto me : This is the place where the 
priests shall boil the trespass-offering and the sin-offering, where 
they shall bake the meat-offering, that they may not bring them 

21 out into the outer court to sanctify the people. Then he brought 
me forth into the outer court, and caused me to pass over to the 
four corners of the court ; and, behold, there was a court in 

22 every corner of the court. In the four corners of the court were 
smaller courts, of forty in length, arid thirty in breadth, one 

23 measure to the four corners. And there was a row round about 
in them, round about them four, and boiling places were made 

24 underneath the rows round about. And he said unto me : These 
are the place for boiling, where the servants of the house shall 
boil the sacrifice of the people. 

17. The mention in this verse of the during the continuance of the Mosaic 

jubilee year, or year of release, as that economy. That the Sabbatic year was 

when alienated land should revert to its restored after the captivity is sufficiently 

original occupier, is a strong confirma- proved by the testimony of Joscphus, 

tion that the prophet intended a literal Antiqq. xiv. 10, 6. See also 1 Mace, 

reference to events that were to transpire vi. 49. 



This chapter contains a sublime prophetical vision, emblematical of the rich abundance 
of blessings which Jehovah was prepared to confer upon his restored people. The 
imagery is taken from the scenery about the south of Judea, and forcibly depicts the 
contrasted condition of the Jews as apostate under the curse, and as restored to thoir 
privileges as the people of God, together with the abundant communication of divine 
blessings both to them and to the Gentile world. The vision bears on the very face of 
it such palpable incongruities if taken literally, that no room is left to doubt of its 
symbolical import. The localities specifled are to be regarded as the sources whence 
the imagery is borrowed ; but, in explaining them, care must be taken not to strain 
the language so as to obscure the more sublime objects which they were intended to 

The vision, though connected with, is to be regarded as distinct from, that of the temple. 
It naturally springs out of the view given in the previous chapter of the worship to be 
performed by the prince and the people, under the superintendence of the priests. 
While that worship should be acceptable to God, if offered in a proper spirit, the 
manifestations of his loving-kindness were not to be confined to the sacred locality, 
but were to extend to the whole land, and ultimately to the whole world. To set forth 
this extension of the divine blessing, a series of beautiful images is introduced into the 
scene. From under the eastern wall of the temple, the prophet is shown a collection of 
waters which gush forth, and, increasing as they flow towards the Dead Sea, convey 
viridity, life, and beauty, wherever they come. 

The existence of fountains and aqueducts in the vicinity of Moriah has long been known, 
and they are particularly described by Dr. Ilobinson and other travellers in the Eas- ; 
but they throw little or no light upon the passage before us. The waters here described 
are represented as flowing in an easterly direction, T9" 1i5 > consequently towards the 
Kedron, having reached which they must be supposed to have taken their course in the 
direction of the Jordan, and so down the Ghor towards the Dead Sea. The main point 
in the picture is the rapid augmentation of the river, not by the influx of any side 
streams, but by its own self-supply from the sacred source in the temple. It is evidently 
not to be explained on any principles of natural philosophy, but is to be resolved into 
the miraculous, so undeniably held forth to our view in the text. 

1 THEN he conducted me back unto the door of the house ; and, 

behold, waters issued from under the threshold of the house 
eastward ; for the front of the house was toward the east ; and 
the waters flowed down from under the right side of the house, 

2 at the south side of the altar. And he conducted me by the 
way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without 
to the outer gate by the way which looketh eastward ; and, 

3 behold, waters ran out from the right side. When the man that 
had the line in his hand went forth on the east, he measured a 
thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters ; the 

4 waters were to the ankles. Again he measured a thousand, and 
brought me through the waters ; the waters were to the knees. 
Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through ; the 

5 waters were unto the loins. Then he measured a thousand, a 
river which I could not pass over ; for the waters were high, 




[CHAP., XL VH. 7-10. 


waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over. Then 
he said unto me : Son of man, hast thou seen this ? then he 
brought me and caused me to return to the bank of the river. 
When I turned, behold, on the bank of the river very much 
wood on the one side, and on the other. Then he said unto me : 
These waters issue forth into the east circuit, and flow down 
into the desert, and go into the sea. And being brought out 
into the sea, tire waters shall be healed. And it shall come to 
pass that every living being that moveth, whithersoever the river 
shall come, shall live ; and there shall be a very great multitude 
of fish, because these waters shall come thither ; and they shall 
be healed, and shall live wheresoever the river shall come. 
And it shall be that fishers shall stand beside it from En-gedi 
to En-eglaim ; there shall be a spreading of nets ; their fish 
shall be according to their kind, as the fish of the great sea, 

7. The numerous trees on the bunks 
of the river are symbolical of the greatest 
prosperity. What had previously pre 
sented only a scene of barrenness was 
now to be remarkable for the abundance 
of fruit which it yielded. 

8. The LXX.,Targ.,and Syriae have 
preposterously rendered ***??? by Galilee., 
taking the river to the north from Jeru 
salem instead of along the course of the 
Jordan southward. n^ X n , theArabah, 
or great valley of the Jordan, still so 
called in the present day, stretching 
from Tiberias to the Red Sea. There 
is an emphasis in the repetition !"iB*n , 
into the sf-ii, i.e. the sea so remarkable 
for historic facts. The waters that re 
quired to be healed were those of the 
lake, whose deadly character has long 
given the name to it, and has been fully 
established by the testimony of modern 
travellers. Sec Dr. Robinson, vol. ii. 
p. 222. " According," he says, " to the 
testimony of all antiquity, and of most 
modern travellers, there exists within 
the waters of the Dead Sea no living 
thing no trace, indeed, of animal or 
vegetable life. Our own experience, as 
far as we had an opportunity to observe, 
goes toconfirm the truth of tiiis testimony. 
We perceived no sign of life within the 

Compare DC Saulcy, vol. i. p. 168, who 
testifies to the same effect. 

9. So complete should be the moral 
change which the prophet lias in his eye, 
that it could only be fitly symbolized by 
the conversion of the Asphaltitic lake 
into a collection of waters abounding in 
all kinds of fish, for supplying the in 
habitants of the neighboring country. 
E"] 1 !!? is a dual, signifying t/ictiro rivers, 
but as only one river is mentioned at 
the end of the verse, I have no hesitation 
in adopting the division of the word 
into Q? 5H3 , the rii-cr of the sra, i.e. the 
Jordan, which flows into that sea, to 
which it is evident reference is had, and 
not, as Jarchi supposes, to the Mediter 

10. ^y"r3,En-fcdi, 

originally called Ilazczon-Tamar, was 
discovered in modern times by Scetzen, 
and is described by Dr. Robinson and 
De Saulcy as situated close to a perpen 
dicular cliff of more than fifteen hundred 
feet above the Dead Sea, on its western 
side. Where G"]~52 "p^" , En-eglaim, was 
situated, cannot with certainty be de 
termined; but on comparing DV55 , Ey- 
laim, (Isa. xv. 8), it would seem probable 
that it lay on the confines of Moab, over 
against Engedi, and near the entrance 

CHAP. XL VII 10-23.] 



11 exceeding many. But the miry places thereof, and the pools 

12 thereof, shall not be healed ; they are given for salt. And by 
the river, -there shall come up on the bank thereof, on one side 
and on the other, all trees for food, whose leaves shall not fade, 
neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed ; they shall produce 
new fruit according to the months thereof, because the waters 
thereof issued forth from the sanctuary ; and the fruit thereof 
shall be for food, and the leaves thereof for medicine. 

13 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah : This is the bovder, according to 

which ye shall divide the land for an inheritance to the twelve 

of the Jordan into the sea : " Engallim 
in principio cst maris mortui ubi Jor- 
danes ingrcditur." (Jerome.) 

11. This verse has generally been 
viewed as a drawback upon the promise 
of good so forcibly and repeatedly made 
in the preceding verses, and the expres 
sion, to give or devote to salt, if applied 
to land, and not to water as in the 
present instance, would unquestionably 
convey this idea. See Deut. xxix. 23 ; 
Ps. cvii. 34 (Hcb.) ; Zeph. ii. 9 ; but as 
it is the water of the Dead Sea that is 
the subject spoken of, the proper inter 
pretation is that founded on the circum 
stance, that, owing to the great evapora 
tion which takes place, especially during 
the heat of summer, large quantities of 
salt are deposited on the shores, or 
collected by the Arabs in pits, from 
which they obtain abundant supplies 
for the use of their families and flocks. 
No language could more forcibly repre 
sent than the whole passage the salutary 
influences of the Holy Spirit in healing 
the corruptions of human nature, and 
converting what before was poisonous 
and destructive into elements of vitality, 
utility, and enjoyment. Compare Isa. 
xxxv. 1, 2, 6, 7; xli. 18, 19; xliii. 19, 
20 ; John vii. 38. 

12. The prophet here sums up what 
he had to deliver relative to the happy 
change which was to take place in the 
condition of the church, in a picture 
only surpassed by that of the paradise 
of Eden. Instead of the vine of Sodom 
and the grapes of Gomorrah (Deut. 

xxxii. 32), which were nauseous and 
revolting, trees of righteousness should 
produce fruit to the praise and glory of 
God. Compare Rev. xxii. 2, where the 
language is copied almost verbatim, and 
made to serve as descriptive of the state 
of heavenly blessedness. 

13-23. The remainder of the chapter, 
and the greater portion of that following, 
are occupied with the arrangements made 
for the territorial division of Palestine 
among the tribes. It is quite evident 
that na , which affords no sense, must 
be a corrupt reading for Ht, the Zain 
having been mistaken by some copyist 
for Gimel, a letter similar in shape. 
LXX. ravra TO opia. According to Kitto 
that country may be regarded as em 
bracing an area of almost eleven thousand 
square miles ; but being for the most 
part hilly, the sides of the mountains 
and the slopes of the hills greatly enlarge 
the available extent of the superficies. 
There cannot therefore be a doubt that 
the population might have been in 
creased to an extent comprehending all 
who remained behind in the East, if 
they had chosen to return. All would 
have found ample accommodation in 
the land of their fathers. The literal 
Canaan, and the literal tribes here 
named, alone meet the demand of the 
unbiassed expositor, just as in the case 
of the temple, which requires to be treated 
literally. By the geographical marks 
given by E/ekiel it may easily be a-rrr- 
tained that the same country is intended 
which the Hebrews had in possession 

224 E Z E K I E L . [CHAP. XL VII. 13-23 

14 tribes of Israel : Joseph shall have two portions. And ye shall 
inherit it, one as well as another, which I lifted up my hand to 
give it to your fathers, and this land shall fall to you for an 

15 inheritance. And this shall be the boundary of the land on the 
north side, from the great sea by the way of Chethlon to the 
entering in of Zedad : Ilamath, Berothah, Sebaraim, which are 
between the border of Damascus and the border of Ilamath ; 

17 Ilazor-hatticon, which is on the border of Ilauran. And the 
border from the sea shall be Ilazor-ainon, the border of Damascus, 
and the north northward, and the border of Ilamath ; and this 

18 shall be the north side. And the east side shall be from between 
Ilauran and Damascus and Gilead, and from between the land 
of Israel on the Jordan ; from the boundary by the eastern sea 

19 ye shall measure ; and this shall be the side eastward. And the 
south side southward from Tamar unto the waters of Meriboth- 
Kadesh, the river to the great sea ; this shall be the south side 

20 southward. And the west side shall be the great sea, from the 
border over against the entrance of Ilamath : this shall be the 
west side. 

21 And ye shall divide this land to yourselves for the tribes of Israel. 

22 And it shall come to pass that ye shall divide it by lot for an 
inheritance to yourselves and to the strangers who sojourn 
among you, who have begotten children among you, and they 
shall be to you as a native among the children of Israel : they 
shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. 

before the captivity, exclusive of that things, but was graciously to have re- 

beyond Jordan, which did not properly stored to it the double portion which 

belong to the paternal territory (Gen. Jacob bestowed on Joseph, and which 

xiii. 14 18). The boundaries differ little was inherited by his two sons, Ephraim 

from those fixed by Moses (Numbers and Manasseh, instead of Reuben who 

xxxiv.), only the latter commences with had forfeited his birthright. See Gen. 

the south, the former with the north, xlviii. 5. There was now no distinction 

for what reason it is impossible to con- to be made that might seem to savor 

jecture, except it was designed, with of partiality, but all were to have a 

other changes, to prepare the minds of sufficient share allotted to them, 
the Jews for the greater change which 22, 23. A joint participation in the 

was to be effected by the introduction inheritance of the land between the 

of the new economy to be established Hebrews and such foreigners as might 

by the Messiah. sojourn among them, was something 

13. Joseph, as representative of the altogether new in the history of the 

tribe of Ephraim, is here placed in the covenant people. Its object seems to 

foreground, to intimate, that though have been gradually to wean them from 

that tribe had been the ringleader both that exclusiveness of spirit which natu- 

in the civil revolt and in idolatry, it was rally marked their character, and thus 

not to be neglected in the new state of to pave the way for the introduction of 

CHAP. XL Yin. 8.] EZEKIEL. 225 

23 And it shall come to pass that in what tribe soever the stranger 
sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the 
Lord Jehovah. 

the gospel dispensation, which, as it before God, and excludes none who 
respects spiritual blessings, considers all submit to its terms from the enjoyment 
men, without distinction, as upon a level of the privileges of the divine kingdom. 


Having finished his description of the boundaries of the land of Canaan generally, the 
prophet now takes up the several allotments of the tribes in particular, with special 
reference to Jerusalem, as the common centre, 1-7, 23-28. According to the locations 
here laid down, seven of the tribes were to have their portions in the northern division 
of the country, and the remaining live were to occupy the smaller division in the south. 
The tribes of Judah and Benjamin were to be specially honored: having their portions 
assigned to them in immediate contiguity to the sacred area appropriated to the temple 
and its officiants. The reason is obvious : they had remained faithful to the house of 
David amid the general defection ; and would again be prepared by their military spirit 
to resist any attack that might be attempted upon the sacred enclosure. 

1 Now these are the names of the tribes : from the north end to the 

coast of the way of Chethlon, to the entering in of Hamath, 
Hazar-ainon, the border of Damascus northward to the coast 
of Hamath ; and these are the sides thereof east and west : 

2 Dan, one. And by the border of Dan, from the east side to 

3 the west side : Asher, one. And by the border of Asher, from 

4 the east side even to the west side : Naphtali, one. And by 
the border of Naphtali, from the east side to the west side: 

5 Manasseh, one. And by the border of Manasseh, from the 

6 east side to the west side : Ephraim, one. And by the border 
of Ephraim, from the east side even to the west side : Reuben, 

7 one. And by the border of Reuben, from the east side to the 

8 west side : Judah, one. And by the border of Judah, from the 
east side to the west side, shall be the oblation which ye shall 
offer, five-and-twenty thousand in breadth, and in length as one 
of the parts from the east side to the west side ; and the sanc- 

9 tuary shall be in the midst of it. The oblation which ye shall 
offer to Jehovah shall be five-and-twenty thousand in length, 

8. The measures here and aftcnvards reeds, as given in our common version, 
specified I take to be cubits, and not See on chapter xlv. 1 . 

226 E Z E K I E L . [CHAP. XL VIII. 15. 

10 and ten thousand in breadth. And for these, for the priests, 
the oblation shall be ; toward the north, five-and-twenty thousand, 
and toward the west ten thousand in breadth, and toward the 
east ten thousand in breadth, and toward the south five-and- 
twenty thousand in length ; and the sanctuary of Jehovah shall 

11 be in the midst thereof. It shall be for the priests that are 
sanctified of the sons of Zadok, who have kept my charge, who 
went not astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the 

12 Levites went astray. And the oblation of the land that is 
offered shall be unto them a most holy thing, by the border of 

13 the Levites. And over against the border of the priests, the 
Levites shall have five-and-twenty thousand in length, and ten 
thousand in breadth : all the length five-and-twenty thousand, 

14 and the breadth ten thousand. And they shall not sell of it, 
nor exchange, nor alienate the first-fruits of the land, for it is 

15 holy to Jehovah. And the five thousand that are left in the 
breadth over against the five-and-twenty thousand shall be a 
profane place for the city, and for dwelling, and for an open 

1C place ; and the city shall be in the midst of it. And these shall 
be the measures thereof: the north side four thousand and five 
hundred ; and the south side four thousand and five hundred ; 
and the east side four thousand and five hundred ; and the west 

17 side four thousand and five hundred. And the open space for 
the city northward, two hundred and fifty ; and toward the south, 
two hundred and fifty ; and toward the cast, two hundred and 

18 fifty ; and toward the west, two hundred and fifty. And the 
residue in length over against the oblation of the holy portion 
shall be ten thousand eastward, and ten thousand westward; 
and it shall be over against the oblation of the holy portion ; 
and the increase thereof shall be for bread for them that serve 

19 the city. And they that serve the city shall serve it out of all 

20 the tribes of Israel. All the oblation shall be five-and-twenty 
thousand by five-and-twenty thousand : ye shall offer the holy 

21 oblation four square with the possession of the city. And the 
residue shall be for the prince, on the one side and on the other 
side of the holy oblation, and the possession of the city, before 

15. When it is said that the five them- that they were to be regarded and treated 

sand cubits here spoken of were to he as common, not bciii appropriated by 

-H , profane, it is not meant that they any particular individuals. They were 

were to have any positive impurity cither to be free to the use of all. 
legal or moral attached to them, but 

CHAP. XL VIII. 28-35.] E Z E K I E L . 227 

the five-and-twenty thousand of the oblation toward the east 
border, and westward before the five-and-twenty thousand toward 
the west border, over against the portions for the prince ; and 
it shall be the holy oblation ; and the sanctuary of the house 

22 shall be in the midst thereof. Moreover from the possession 
of the Levites, from the possession of the city, in the midst of 
that which belongs to the prince, between the border of Judah, 

23 and the border of Benjamin, shall be for the prince. And as 
to the rest of the tribes ; from the east side to the west side : 

24 Benjamin, one. And by the border of Benjamin, from the east 

25 side to the west side : Simeon, one. And by the border of 
Simeon, from the east side to the west side : Issachar, one. 

26 And by the border of Issachar, from the east side to the west 

27 side : Zebulon, one. And by the border of Zebulon, from the 

28 east side to the west side : Gad, one. And by the border of 
Gad, on the south side southward, the border shall be from 
Tamar, the waters of Meriboth-Kadesh, and to the river toward 

29 the great sea. This is the land which ye shall divide by lot 
unto the tribes of Israel for inheritance ; and these are their 

30 portions, saith the Lord Jehovah. And these are the goings 
forth of the city ; on the north side four thousand and five 

31 hundred measures. And the gates of the city shall be according 
to the names of the tribes of Israel : three gates northward, one 

32 gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, one gate of Levi. And on 
the east side, four thousand and five hundred ; and three gates, 
even one gate of Joseph, one gate of Benjamin, one gate of Dan. 

33 And on the south side four thousand and five hundred measures ; 
and three gates, one gate of Simeon, one gate of Issachar, one 

28. The ""^^ Tamar, here mentioned 35. As there was to be a new city, it 

is not Jericho, as the Targumist ex- was befitting that it should have a new 

pounds, but a locality situated at the name. The import of that here given : 

distance of a day s journey to the south " ? ? """^""H > Jchovah-slutmmah, indicates 

of Hebron, and a little to the west of the that it was to be specially honored 

Dead Sea. Both, however, take their with the divine presence and protection, 

name from the palm fivrw abounding in the ""S lJ is not in this place to be taken 

neighborhood. By^l?^ c ^ !~- 1 ? ^*T!- strictly as an adverb of direction, as if 

the rivir by the great sra, we arc to un- meant to express the idea that Jehovah 

derstand the Tlhinocorura or the Wadi would be specially propcnsc towards 

el-Arlsh, on the confines of Palestine and Jerusalem, but is simply equivalent to 

Egypt, elsewhere called, on this account, the local signification there. Compare 

t^tt^Tg, the river of Egypt. The ft Gen. xxiii. 13; Isa. xxxiv. 15; Ps. 

in!~3n3 is simply the postpositive ad verb, cxxii. 5 ; and as to meaning, Ps. xlviii. 

indicating direction towards a place. 1-3. 


34 gate of Zebulun. And on the west side, four thousand and five 
hundred, with their three gates ; one gate of Gad, one gate of 
Asher, one gate of Naphtali. 

35 Round about eighteen thousand measures ; and the name of the 

city from that day shall be : JEHOVAH is THERE. 

Here cncleth this remarkable vision, which, though greatly mystified by many 
of the attempts that have been made to explain it, stands forth to view on the 
sacred page as a noble specimen of divine wisdom, admirably calculated to inspire 
the captive exiles in Babylonia with the cheering hope of their re-settlement in 
their own land, and the restoration of their beloved metropolis and temple. In 
contemplating it, the truly spiritually-minded Christian, with his thoughts raised 
above all earthly localities, will not, as the Germans express it, perplex himself 
with Grubtltitn, subtle and trifling inquiries, but will grasp the grand ideas which 
the vision suggests, and anticipate for himself in a future world a realization of 
what was only dimly shadowed forth by that which is here described. May it be 
the happiness of the writer and each of his readers to be raised to dwell in the 
house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens ! 





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Jeremiah and Lamentations. Translated from the original Hebrew. 
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Murplty. Critical and Hxegeiical Commentaries of Prof. 
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Genesis. Exodus. 

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" In the critical study of the Old Testament this monograph will be found an 
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Murphy. Critical, and Exegetical Commentaries, of Prof. 
James G. Mtirphy, LL.D., T.C.D., viz.: on 

Exodus. 8vo. pp. 385. $3.00 

" Thus far nothing has appeared in this country for half a century on the first 
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" Prof. Murphy s Commentary on Genesis has been published long enough to 
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" Dr. Murphy has done a noble service to his college and church in the publica 
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" This is the second volume of the ablest Commentary on the Pentateuch that 
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"By its originality and critical accuracy it must command the high regard of 
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"This volume is a fit successor of that on the Book of Genesis, by the same 
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Monad s St. Paul. Five Discourses. By ADOLPHE MONOD. 
Translated from the French by Rev. J. H. MYERS, D.D. 12mo. 
pp. 191. 90 cents. 

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Boston Journal. 

" A book unsurpassed in its department, in any language, for manly eloquence, 
thorough research, profound reflection, a most earnest, glowing, winning, Christian 
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times in which we live." The Translator. 

" This little volume wa regard as a. very valuable addition to what may be called 
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and commanding orator." Bibliotheca Sacra. 

" A nvistjrly and most eloquent delineation of the inner life of the great Apostle." 
Evangelical Quarterly. 

" These Sarmons are remarkable for richness of thought and expression, and for 
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our own time." Rdigioitt Union. 

" These Discourses arc distinguished for genuine eloquence, thorough research, 
and profound thought, accompanied with a glowing, earnest spirit, adapting the 
lessons of the great Apostle to the spiritual wants of men." Christian 

"A very interesting book this is, and calculated to stir up the reader s mind and 
conscience." Banner of the Cross. 


Books Published by W. F. Draper. 

Stuart. Critical and Exegetical Commentaries by Moses 
Stuart, late Professor in Andover Theological Seminary, 

Romans, Hebrews, The Apocalypse, 

Proverbs, Ecclesiastes. 

Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. Third Edition. Ed 
ited and revised by PROF. R. D.C. BOBBINS. 12mo. pp. 544. $2.25 

" His Commentary on the Remans is the most elaborate of all his works. It 
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novel plan and under a sense of personal responsibility. Regarding it in all its 
relations, its antecedents and consequents, we pronounce it the most important 
Commentary which has appeared in this country on this Epistle." Bibliatheca 

" We heartily commend this work to all students of the Bible. The production 
of one of the first biblical scholars of our age, on the most important of all the 
doctrinal books of the New Testament, it deserves the careful study not only of 
those who agree with Prof. Stuart in his theological and exegetical principles, but 
of those who earnestly dissent from some of his views in both respects." Watch 
man and Jlcfltcfor. 

" Not only as one of the earliest contributions of American scholarship to biblical 
criticism, but also as one of the best commentaries upon the most difficult of Paul s 
Epistles, the work of Prof. Stuart on the Romans will have a permanent place in 
biblical literature. Prof. Stuart s method combines the exegetical with the 
doctrinal and practical. His rare force and earnestness, however, are mainly 
expended in what may be styled critico-theological discussion. His tendency was 
somewhat to repetition and diffuscness a pardonable fault in the infancy of 
biblical criticism in this country. Prof. Robbins has obviated this defect by 
carefully pruning the Commentary of redundancies, without in the least impairing 
the sense of the author. He has also reduced the length of some of the Excursus, 
which the progress of biblical science has rendered less important. On the other 
hand, in the Introduction, which he has almost entirely rewritten, and in brief 
notes scattered through the volume, Prof. Robbins has enriched the Commentary 
with the fruits of later criticism, and of his own researches in the same field. It 
now forms a neat duodecimo volume at about one half the cost of the first edition." 

" We are glad to sec a new edition of this valuable Commentary, without which 
no ordinary theological library is complete. The exegetical works of Prof. 
Stuart have many excellences, and it will be a long time before the student of the 
Bible in the original will be willing to dispense with them as a part of bis critical 
apparatus. The Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans was originally pre 
pared with great lal>or by the author, and the present edition has the advantage 
of having passed under the supervision of Prof. Robbins, whose studies have given 
him a special fitness for such a service. Alterations have occasionally been made, 
with abridgment in some places and additions in others." tioston lin-orch-r. 

"All of Prof. Stuart s works would be improved bv similar editing, cautious, 
reverent, skilful, sufficient, and brought down to date in the literature of the 
Epistle. To all students at Andover under Prof. Stuart his commentaries have 
great interest, and (except, perhaps, that on the Apocalypse) no other can supersede 
their frequent use. The spirit of the man is so intertwined with them as to be a 
perpetual stimulant and benediction to the reader. Congregationalist. 

" In turning over its pages we recall the learning, the zeal, the acumen, and the 
idiosyncrasies of one of the most remarkable of the great and good men which our 

theological world has produced This contribution by Prof. Stuart has justly 

takcfl a high place among the Commentaries on the Epistle to the Romans, and, 
with his other works, will always be held in high estimation by students of the 
Sacred Scriptures." New York Observer. 


Books Published by W. F. Draper. 

Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews. By PROF. MOSKS 
STUART. Third Edition. Edited and revised by PROF. R. D. C. 
ROBBINS. 1 2mo. pp. 575. $2.25 

"The Commentaries of Prof. Stuart abide the test of time. Though somewhat 
diffusive in style, they contain so much thorough discussion of doctrinal points, 
so much valuable criticism on pregnant words, and such an earnest religious 
spirit, that they must live for generations as a part of the apparatus for the biblical 
student." Independent, 

" It is from the mind and heart of an. eminent biblical scholar, whose labors in 
the cause of sacred learning will not soon be forgotten." Christian Observer. 

"It is a rich treasure for the student of the original. As a commentator, Prof. 
Stuart was especially arduous and faithful in following up the thought, and dis 
playing the connection of a passage, and his work as a scholar will bear comparison 
with any that have since appeared on cither side of the Atlantic." American 

" This Commentary is classical, both as to its literary and its theological merits. 
The edition before us is very skilfully edited by Prof. Bobbins, and gives in full 
Dr. Stuart s text, with additions bringing it down to the present day." Epis 
copal Recorder. 

" We have always regarded this excellent Commentary as the happiest effort of 
the late Andover Professor. It seems to us well-nigh to exhaust the subjects 
which the author comprehended in his plan." Boston Recorder. 

" Professor Stuart has held a large place in the eye of the church, ns a man 
well furnished with all the learning required in a scriptural commentator; and 
\vc recognize his merit, while we do not always rely on the theology of his com 
ments." Presbyterian. 

" One of the most valuable critical expositions of that master work of the Apos 
tles that exists in our language. It is not necessary or fitting to enter here upon 
any extended statement of its character and value, as that is well known and prop 
erly appreciated, but only to call the attention of those who wish to possess the 
results of modern criticism both with respect to the Epistle itself, and the various 
questions regarding its authenticity, authorship, the churches to which, and the 
language in which, it was written to this, as being all that is desirable at a low 
price and in small compass." Banner of the Covenant. 

Commentary on the Apocalypse. By PROF. MOSES STUART. 
2 vols. 8vo. 504, 504. $5.00 

" The first volume is taken up with matters of an introductory nature, pertain 
ing to the character of the book, its authorship, and the time when it was written, 
nature of its language and idiom, comparison of it with Old Testament prophecies 
and with contemporary apochryphal writings, history of the interpretation of it, 
etc. The second volume contains the Commentary and several dissertations on 
various topics connected with the subject. The Commentary will, doubtless, 
awaken general attention and earnest discussion both in this country and in Great 
Britain, the more so, as on some fundamental points, it is at variance with the in 
terpretations of the Apocalypse which have had universal currency where the 
English language is spoken." Bibliothcca Sacra. 

" The first volume treats of the Apocalpysc in general, noticing its peculiar form 
and arrangement with other and Apocryphal Apocalypses and proving John 
the beloved disciple to have been its author ; while the second volume i.s wholly 
occupied with the exposition of the book in hand, and of six discourses on as 

many distinct topics of special interest, connected with the exposition The 

spirit of the author candid generous, sincere, elevated, and yet subdued by con 
scious imperfection, to the admission of his own incompctcncy to develop the 
meaning of the Holy Spirit, except so far as he is moved by the same Spirit, and 
controlled by the changeless laws of interpretation. A more copious stock of sacred 
learning, we say without hazard, is nowhere to be found within an equal compass. 
Every page, so far as we have gone with it, is full of riches drawn from the cx- 
haustless storehouse of fact, philosophy, and revelation, duly arranged, rhastcly 
displayed, and readily pouring into any hand opened to receive them." Boston 


Hooks Published ly W. F. Draper. 

Commentary on Ecclesiastes. By PROF. MOSES STUART. Second 
Edition. Edited and Revised by R. D. C. ROBIJINS, Professor in 
Middle-bury College. 12mo. pp. 3-K5. SI. 50 

"A most thorough, plain, careful, faithful Commentary. It consists of a pre 
liminary dissertation on the nature, design, method, and history of the hook ; a 
translation having the commentary after each verse, and a hrief linal Mimmary of 
most of the chapters. The commentary is worked out in a most thorough man 
ner, hoth its philosophy and exegesis." /ndi-jiiiuloit. 

" The first characteristic of Professor ^luart as a commentator is the exhaustive 
thoroughness of his laliors. His exegesis is in general skillul and felicitous, 
especially in bringing out the meaning of the ohscnrc passages, and adding new 
and delicate shades of thought to the more obvious and superiieial sense." Xorth 
American Review. 

" This Commentary casts much light on this difficult portion of God s word." 
Boston Ilrritw, 

" The Commentary on Ecclesiastes was among the latest and ripest of its author s 
works." Christian Eeview. 

" It hears the marks of his vigorous and intuitive mind on every page." Boston 

" One of the ripest and most interesting of Dr. Stuart s works." Tin- Lutheran. 

Commentary on the Book of Proverbs. By PROF. MOSES STUART. 

12mo. pp.432. $1. 75 

" This is the last work from the pen of Prof. Stuart. Both this Commentary 
and the one preceding it on Eeclcsiastcs, exhibit a mellowness of spirit which savors 
of the good man ripening for heaven ; and the style is more conden.-cd. and, in that 
respect more agreeable, than in some of the works which were wriitui in the un- 
abated freshness and exuberant vigor of his mind. In learning and critical acumen 
they are equal to his former works. No English reader, we venture to say, can 
elsewhere find so complete a philological exposition of these two important books 
of the Old Testament." Bibliothcca Sacra. 

Stuart. Worlds of Moses Stuart, late Professor in Andover 
Theological Seminary ; vis. 

Critical History and Defence of the Old Testament Canon. 
By PROF. MOSES STUART. 12mo. pp. 450. $1.75 

" The author elucidates, in their order, in series of chapters, many questions 
touching the writings and literature of the Jews, with a freedom and fulness that 
cannot fail to interest a studious inquirer in this wide field of sacred learning. 

" This whole work of Stuart s is lucid and instructive." C/irixtiaii lliJJu- or. 

" It is a reply chiefly to Andrews Norton, and some other Unitarian writers in 
this country, who discard, if not the whole, yet the greater part of the Old Testa 
ment, and portions also of the New, irom the canon of the inspind Scripture. 
The discussion is temperate and manly, and at the same time thorough and 
satisfactory." Christian ^irretari/. 

" The learning, the shrewdness, and force brought to hear on the grand question 
at issue, are unsurpassed." Boston Recorder. 

Miscellanies. 12rno. pp. xii and 3G9. SI. 25 

The work contains, 1. Letters of Dr. Clianning on the Trinity; 2. Two 
Sermons on the Atonement ; . !. Sacramental Sermon on the Lamb of (jod ; 
4. Dedication Sermon Real Christianity; 5. Letter to Dr. Clianning on 
Religious Liberty; C. Supplemental Notes and Postscripts of new additional 

Hebrew Grammar of Gesenius as edited by Roediger. Trans 
lated, with Additions, and also a Hebrew Chrestomathy. 8vo. 

pp. viii and 3GO. $1.25 


Books Published by W. F. Draper. 

Tyler. The Theology of the Greek Poets. By W. S. TYLER, 

Williston Professor of Greek in Amherst College. 12mo. pp. 3G5. 
Cloth, bevelled. $1.75 

"Professor Tyler 1ms here produced a work which is an honor to American 
literature. It is well fitted to be n classic in our Colleges and Theological Semi 
naries. It furnishes admirable illustrations of the truth of both natural and 
revealed theology, and suggests original methods for the defence of these truths." 
Biblwtheca Sacra. 

" There are few better Greek scholars in the country than Professor Tyler, who 
has devoted himself with groat earnestness and enthusiasm to the culture and 
teaching of Greek literature. The chapters which compose the book have all 
appeared in former years in different Quarterlies. In this way thev have attracted 
the attention of many of our best scholars." Prof. Tyler has done good service to 
the cause of truth in showing that the Iliad and Odyssey, as well as the dramas of 
Aeschylus and the tragedies of Sophocles, express ideas and sentiments very much 
like those we find in contemporary Scriptures." Hours at Home. 

" The first Essay is an ingeuius and powerful argument in proof that the God of 
the church is also the God of nature and of providence; so declared by reason in 
the evidence which it affords. The second essay discusses freshly and powerfully 
the Homeric question. The four remaining Essays develop the natural theology 
that is interwoven in the poems thus demonstrated to be Homer s, and in those of 
Aeschylus and Sophocles." Conrjrerjationalist. 

" The book is an important contribution to natural theology. It traces the rela 
tion of the theology of the Greek poets to that of Christ. Prof. Tyler docs his 
work with the mind of a master." Zion s Herald. 

" I have been interested and instructed by reading Professor Tyler s work on the 
Theology of the Greek Poets. The book is worthy of a wide circulation." 
Prof. Samuel Harris. 

"This volume must be regarded as a standard in its department." National 

"Prof. Tyler has a strong, plain, clear-cut style, and never writes on stilts, 
though his thoughts arc high enough, delights in Anglo-Saxon words, and uses 
them with great power ; packs his pages so full of thought that they are better to 
read than to listen to, an unusual trait in these days of wishy-washy writing, 
and finally docs not leave his subject till it is exhausted." S/i -infi/ield Republican. 

" The whole forms a body of interesting criticism." The. Presbyterian. 

" Every page exhibits the erudition of the thorough scholar and the accomplished 
writer." Evangelical Quarterly. 

" The aim of the author is to detect the analogies between the myths of the Greek 
drama and epic, and the truths of revelation. The care of the scholar and the 
enthusiasm of the poet have been given to the work." Independent. 

Taylor. Questions on Kuhner s Grammar. See Bateman. 
Vencma s Institutes of Theology. Translated by REV. A. W. 
BROWN, Edinburgh. 8vo. pp. 532. Fine Edition. $2.50 

"It must be admitted that Vencma had far more independence, both of thought 
and style, than belonged to many of his contemporaries. The perusal of Venema s 
treatise cannot fail, we think, to awaken a spirit of biblical investigation, and to 
illustrate the importance of an accurate and well-balanced theological system." 
Bibliotheca Sacra. 

" We always feel strong in quoting this profoundly learned writer. In all that 
is substantial in Oriental scholarship he was the equal of the modern Germans, 
while he was far before them in what mny be called biblical unction, or the power 
of discerning profound ideas in the Scriptures." Prof. Taijlar I^cwis. 

Vinet. History of French Literature in the Eighteenth 
Century. By ALEXANDER VINET, Professor of Theology at 
Lausanne. Translated from the French by JAMES BRUYCE. 8vo. 

pp. 484. Cloth. $3.00 


9 7 ) 9 7 ^ oofc? PuUishcd lij W. F. Draper. 

Winer. A Grammar of the Idiom of tJic New Testament: 

prepared as a Solid Basis for the Interpretation of the New Tes 
tament. By DR. GEORGE BENEDICT WINER. Seventh edition, 
enlarged and improved. By DR. GOTTLIEB LUNEMANX, Pro 
fessor of Theology at the University of Gottingen. Revised and 
Authorized Translation. 8vo. pp.744. 

Cloth, $5.00 ; sheep, $0.00 ; half goat, $0.75 

"After his death a seventh edition of his Grammar was published in 18GC, under 
the editorial care of Dr. Luncmann. This editor incorporated into this edition 
the numerous manuscript notes which Winer had prepared for it. Without alter 
ing the general distribution of matter as it appeared in the sixth edition, he 
[Winer] constantly improved the book in details, by additions of greater or less 
extent in more than three hundred and forty places, by erasures and reconstruc 
tions, by the multiplication of parallel passages from biblical and from profane 
literature, by a more precise definition of thoughts and expressions, etc. Professor 
Liincmann has added to the seventh edition not only these improvements, but also 
improvements of his own ; and has thus made the seventh edition more full, as 
well as more accurate, than cither of the preceding. 

" The first edition of Winer s Grammar was translated into English by Professors 
Stuart and Kobinson in 1825 ; the fourth edition by Professors Agnew and Kbbcke 
in 1839 ; the sixth edition, translated by Professor Masson, was published at Edin 
burgh, and his translation of the sixth is the basis of Professor T haver s transla 
tion of the seventh [Liinemann s] edition. Professor Thaycr, however, has intro 
duced numerous and important corrections of Masson s translation, and has made 
the present edition of the Grammar decidedly superior to any of the preceding 
translations. He has made it especially convenient for the uses of an English 
student, by noting on the outer margin of the pages the paging of the sixth and 
seventh German editions, and also of Professor Masson s translation. Thus the 
reader of a commentary which refers to the pages of cither of those volumes, may 
easily find the reference by consulting the margin of this volume. Great care has 
also been bestowed on the indexes of the present volume, which arc now very 
accurate and complete. One of the indexes, that of passages in the New Testa 
ment explained or cited occupies sixty pages, and notes distinctively not only the 
texts which arc merely cited, but also those which are commented upon. For this, 
much credit is due to Professor G. W. Warren, of the Baptist Theological Sem 
inary in Chicago. The three indexes fdl eighty-five pages, and largely augment 
the value and richness of the volume. The typographical execution of the book 
also deserves praise; so far as we have examined it, we have been surprised at its 
correctness in places where the types arc apt to err." Bibliotlteca Sacra. 

" The work of the American editor is done in a thorough and scholarly man 
ner." ( ongregational Quarterly. 

" While nothing has been done by either the American or German editor to alter 
the character and plan of the work as Winer left it after the labor of a life, noth 
ing has been left undone to correct and complete it, and provide for its more ex 
tended usefulness." Princtton Review. 

" The whole appearance of the work as it now stands indicates a careful and 
thorough scholarship. A critical comparison of several pages with the original 
confirms the impression made by a general examination of the book. In its pres 
ent form, this translation may now be recommended as worthy of a place in the 
library of every minister who desires to study the New Testament with the aid of 
the best critical helps." Tlicolot/ical Eclectic. 

" Great pains also have been taken to secure typographical accuracy, an ex 
tremely difficult thing in a work of this kind. We rejoice that so invaluable a 
work has thus been made as nearly perfect as we can hope ever to have it. It is a 
work that can hardly fail to facilitate and increase the reverent and accurate study 
of the Word of God." American Pruslyterian lieview. 

Winer s Chaldee Grammar. Translated by PROF. HORATIO B. 
HACKETT. 8vo. pp. 152. Half cloth. 75 cents.